Reliable astronomical data from HM Nautical Almanac Office and Crescentwatch.org indicate that in South America it may be possible to see the new crescent moon as early as Thursday evening, 16 July 2015.
On Friday evening, 17th July a naked-eye (unaided) sighting of the new crescent moon will be highly probable in most regions, including the Americas, Africa, Southern Europe and Australia, and in remaining regions on Saturday night, 18th July.
Hence, Eid al Fitr could be as early as Friday, 17th July in South America, will likely be on Saturday, 18th July in most regions of the world, while in the United Kingdom, Northern Europe and much of Asia, Eid al Fitr will be on Sunday, 19th July.
Whichever day you are celebrating Eid al Fitr, the Association of British Muslims would like to wish you a most blessed and joyful Eid!
Paul Salahuddin Armstrong, Co-Director, the Association of British Muslims.
As the UK marks the first Memorial Day For Victims Of Honour Crimes, the Association of British Muslims (AoBM) lends support to the campaign raising awareness of gender issues among men and women. At the same time, AoBM notes that despite successful prosecution in cases of violence, there is still a pervasive social acceptance of abuses of women and girls, which is notably higher in some cultures than others. AoBM has a firm belief that every human being has the inviolable right to live free of fear or attack, and women and girls are key to a better future. Protecting the women is central to peace, prosperity and stability for all parts of the world.
AoBM believes that honour-based crimes are not limited to women and girls and can make men and boys victims if they are seen to have brought ‘shame’ to the family. In the same spirit, we recently lent support to Naz & Matt Foundation on tackling homophobia as we consider that honour crimes do not only encapsulate cases of intentional killing but also those cases where the victim is led to take his or her own life under psychological pressure from the society and family.
On this day when the UK remembers the victims of honour-based crimes, we call upon the government to ensure that the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women is transposed in the national law in full letter and spirit. We also demand improved oversight of strategy against honour crimes which shall include a comprehensive long-term awareness-raising programme with participation and commitment from all stakeholders. Prosecution of criminals is as much important as prevention of future crimes in the name of traditional practices that lead to violence against women.
Zahid Ali Akbar, Human Rights Director, The Association of British Muslims
By Dr Syed Talib Hussain Warsi
Director of Intrafaith Relations, AoBM
Sports and sportsmanship cuts across all nationalities, languages, politics and geographical barriers. Football is certainly the most popular game on this the planet. Football unites people from all cultures and creeds across continents.
Just a few weeks ago, a scandal threatened to ruin the reputation of the great game of football when the FBI pressed charges of bribery and corruption against the international football governing body FIFA arresting some seven top officials. We hope the reputation of football does not suffer along with the wrong-doing of a few individuals at the top if bribery and corruption is proved.
Football is the heart and soul of our British culture. It is one of our biggest exports to the rest of the world. Wherever we may travel, Hong Kong or Delhi, Bangkok or Cape Town, it is not surprising to see Manchester United, Liverpool or Arsenal jerseys on people and the game being broadcast on their television channels.
British football clubs find support and loyalties across the world. After all, I remember since my childhood it was and is a family event to watch the Saturday afternoon kick off. We all wish, hope and pray, for it to remain so. Let us hope no individual or a group of people bring our British football to disrepute.
Yet there are some that will use football, its supporter clubs and memberships to spread division and disharmony in our country. One such organisation is AFFFMAI (All Football Firms/ Fans March Against Islamisation). On June 13th 2015, this organisation is coming to Dudley to “March Against Islamisation” with the Union Jack in their hands and slogans such as “no surrender, It’s time to take back our country” and “don’t worry, the British are coming”.
Theresa May, The Home Secretary, has emphasised the importance of “British values”, stating that British values stand for democracy, rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect. Mrs May has clearly stated and as has our Prime Minister David Cameron that Islamic values are British values and British values are Islamic values – and we whole heartedly agree with this.
Our religion is a religion of peace; Islam believes in human rights, co-existence and harmony. Let us reassure the British people that British Muslims in this country are British, this country is our country and the Union Jack is our flag. Yes we too support our local and national football teams.
Islam stands for peace, Islam means peace, and Islam pursues peace. The goal of this religion is to bind people together with love not with hate. Our greeting of “Assalamu-Alaikum” translates to “peace be upon you”.
Football is a great game; a game that can promote peace amongst many people. Our organisation, The Association of British Muslims is fully supportive of organisations that use football as a vehicle to promote peace – one such organisation called Football for Peace is led by a British Muslim who is also a professional British footballer – Kashif Siddiqi is its Co-Founder. Kashif has been working tirelessly to bring people of opposing views and ideologies to come onto the field for a game of football.
Let us use such initatives and use football work for peace.
Ideally we would have liked to invite the organisers for AFFFMAI to come to Dudley and play a friendly game of football with those Muslims who have made Dudley their home. We appeal to the Muslim community of Dudley to remain calm and not to show fear and work with local authorities to help maintain law and order in the town.
Football is a global game, with global colours. British football teams are made up of people of all colours and backgrounds; and football will remain a tool to bring diverse people together. Most football supporters – like most people of all backgrounds are decent people, they love their clubs and they love football.
Once again, let football work for peace.
Congratulations to David Cameron and the Conservatives in securing a majority in the UK General Election.
The British People have put their trust in you to run the country over the next 5 years.
Keeping this in mind, we look forward to seeing the government making good on their election promises to the British People.
Paul Salahuddin Armstrong
Co-Director, The Association of British Muslims
The Association of British Muslims (AoBM) remembers Dr Nazim Mahmood (UK) and Dr Priya Vedi (India) whose death brings to light grim attitudes grounded in religious and cultural perceptions. AoBM also lends support to Naz & Matt Foundation as Matthew Ogston walks a 130 mile distance in the memory of Dr Nazim Mahmood to raise awareness about religiously-motivated homophobia.
In the spirit of Islamic doctrine of free will, a core principle at the heart of AoBM is that people should be allowed to fashion their lives freely. Everyone is responsible for own actions on the Day of Judgement. AoBM appreciates that some people may have reservations about certain ways of living; however we advocate strongly the view that such disagreement gives no right to any of us to act in homophobic manner. We urge all communities to initiate and support a dialogue from within to further a better understanding of the issues related to sexuality – both culturally and religiously.
AoBM has always stood by the rights of the people irrespective of their caste, sexuality, colour and religion. In this spirit, we call upon the politicians contesting the general elections next month, to make a clear pledge in the memory of Dr Mahmood to outlaw all the remaining types of discrimination in the British society and further the anti-discrimination cause by tackling homophobia in all its forms, whatsoever and wheresoever in the UK. AoBM maintains that tackling forced marriages and domestic violence will assist in reducing homophobic tendencies.
While recognising other freedoms essential for a healthy society, AoBM also calls upon all segments of the government and the wider society to respect the freedom of expression which includes debating difficult theological issues surrounding sexuality and homophobia. The debate on these issues should remain open, frank and inclusive in letter and spirit with the aim of evolving a consensus rather than hegemony.
Zahid Ali Akbar, Human Rights Director, The Association of British Muslims