Tag Archives: Identity

Sila Sahin extols “Freedom” to pose naked for Playboy

Sila Sahin is the poster child for assimilation in Europe. The Muslim Turkish/German model decided that in order to be truly free, she had to strip off for a photo shoot.

This rather deluded thought process led Sila to liking herself to a modern day Che Guevara as, get this, she’s in a bid to express her freedom…rather laughable isn’t it?

Recently The Akh has been blogging about one Shanna Bukhari’s wish to be Miss Universe which has been followed up by this peculiar case.

All these cases point to one certainty and that is the imposition of an identity upon Muslims.

For all my criticisms of the Americans, they allow multiple identities, you can be African-American, Mexican-American, even Arab-American with no problems, you even get your own day, complete with flags and ceremony.

In Europe there is an inherent intolerance that means all Muslims have to assimilate into our way of doing things or face being ostracised and maligned as the “other” who is the latent threat that lives amongst us.

This has and will continue to manifest itself amongst weak minded Muslims like the ones I’ve mentioned here, to play up on our differences, because whenever we travel to the old country of our parents and our fore fathers, it’s never “home” for us, and even though we are born and bred in Europe, we’re constantly told that we’re not German, French or British enough due to false constraints that have been set up as a standard that somehow we have to meet to qualify as a bonafide citizen.

If it means abandoning all the values you have been taught and stripping off for a bunch of pervs, then in the name of freedom, I’m going to do it.

The writer Kurt Vonnegut once said:

“We are the sum of the things we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be”.

Unfortunately it is beyond the rationale of most Muslims to think coherently to understand that “The West”, be that America, the UK or pockets of Europe cannot exist without separating Muslims from our identity, value system and culture.

Be proud of who you are, rather than desperately trying to be something you’re really not, just to fit in.

Whether your mind is ready to accept it or not, that’s what this culture or lack of culture is feeding us.

Be true to yourself.


Filed under Assimilation V Integration, Identity, Morals & Ethics

Shanna Bukhari – Why not compete as a British citizen? Why bring religion into it?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Liberal sensibilities dictate that Shanna Bukhari’s wish to strut around on the Miss Universe stage are supported the world over, but why not compete as a British citizen, why bring your Muslim identity into it?

In this interview with CNN Shanna states she is proud of her origins and her religion, but it’s the media that has made her religion an issue, she said;

“My intentions were not to bring my religion into this”

Like I said in my original post, the promoters were well aware of the controversy factor and the free publicity it would create for their sordid little event by having a Muslima involved.

As ever, the undertones to this discussion are:

“The West” allows for women’s freedom as they can parade around with their business out on stage for creepy old male judges to gawp over, all under the guise of women’s emancipation.

Muslims prefer that their women do not walk around unclothed, so immediately they are primitive and are setting back women’s rights.

By the way, you don’t have to be wearing a swimsuit to be wearing risqué attire.


Filed under Identity, Morals & Ethics

Video Interview of Shanna Bukhari defending her Miss Universe bid

So the Shanna Bukhari drama rumbles on, she gave her first interview defending her decision to enter the Miss Universe competition.

This seems to be a topic that has generated a lot of debate amongst readers of my blog.

The Akh still sticks to his position as outlined before that this isn’t an integration issue, but one in how far people are willing to assimilate into amoral activities.

Shanna and every other woman on this planet is entitled to do exactly what they please, but don’t try and do it as if you’re furthering the cause of your people and your religion.

That’s an extremely false construct.

Too many of our people have become so concerned with assimilation and proving that they are the exact opposite of what the racist right wing dominated media narrative that defines Islam and Muslims to the rest of the world as being, the only way in which this can happen is by separating Muslims from our identity and culture.

The Akh finds it laughable that anyone can pass this of as a matter of resistance never mind a win of any sort. While women who wish to stay covered up have legislation passed against them to stop them doing so, and yet those that have no modesty what so ever are paraded as a “win” for all of us, you’re only deluding yourself.

As far as setting a good example for young Muslim women the world over, entering meat market competitions is a pathetic example for anyone to even to follow, you can see for yourself here why I think this way, would you want your sister, wife, daughter or mother behaving like this?

I would rather be proud of what I am, rather than desperately trying to be something I’m really not, just to fit in.

Whether your mind is ready to accept it or not, that’s what this culture or lack of culture is feeding us.

Be true to yourself.


Filed under Great Britain, Identity, Morals & Ethics

British Muslim Miss Universe Hopeful Shanna Bukhari Receives A Death Threat

A while back I touched upon Muslima Shanna Bukhari, and her aspirations of representing GB in the meat market that masquerades as a Miss Universe contest.

The Akh has no issue with her particularly entering a meat market competition.

What I have a problem with is that she states:

“This is my passion and I want others to follow my example”

I’m sorry for being the morality police here, but for someone who has a university degree, getting your kit off isn’t the most empowering of choices, nor is it one that should be promoted to impressionable girls, the way in which the Guardian of all papers have tried to spin into a “Us V Them” narrative, complete with madcap Muslims giving Shanna death threats;

“One Facebook message calls her a “dirty Muslim” and asks why she is representing Britain “when you don’t even fucking belong here”. Bukhari said: “I actually replied to him in a very calm manner because I’m not one to retaliate, my family taught me to rationalise rather than react. Then I thought ‘why can’t I represent Britain?’ I was born here and am proud to be British. My parents are from Pakistan but I am not going to represent Pakistan as this is my country.”

This isn’t an integration issue, but one in how far people are willing to assimilate.

I have no issues with wearing the “British Muslim” badge, it doesn’t mean that to prove how British I am, I have to get steaming drunk on a Friday night and follow it up with a bout of vomiting and drunken violence….which the “British Lads” culture (or lack of culture) promotes.

Chances are the promoters were well aware of the controversy factor and the free publicity it would create for their sordid little event by having a Muslima involved.

I’m sure this will run and run….judging by the sheer number of people who are searching for this topic.


Filed under Great Britain, Identity, Morals & Ethics

Cricket World Cup 2011 – Who Are You Supporting & Do You Pass Tebbit’s Test?

With the 2011 Cricket World Cup getting towards the business end of the knock out rounds, The Akh has to ask, who are you supporting?

One of the things that got a young akh politicised was back in 1990 when prominent Conservative MP Norman Tebbit stated:

“A large proportion of Britain’s Asian population fail to pass the cricket test. Which side do they cheer for? It’s an interesting test. Are you still harking back to where you came from or where you are?”

Tebbit’s cricket test as it became to be known, referred to a perceived ‘loyalty’ or ‘lack of loyalty’ of immigrants and their children from certain parts of Asia and the Caribbean to the England cricket team.

Tebbit suggested that those immigrants who root for their native countries rather than Great Britain in sports might not be sufficiently loyal to their new country.

The tabloid press at the time relished this statement and pointed aggressive fingers at the new communities for our disloyalty to both Queen and country.

How true was this statement?

Four out of every five people from the black Caribbean community living in Britain described their national identity as British, English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish. Three-quarters of the Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities identified them selves in the same way. Among people of mixed ethnic origins the figure was 87% and 81% in the “other black” category, those originating from outside Africa or the Caribbean. They included many born in Britain and describing their ethnicity as black British in recent official surveys.

This attitude was further challenged by ONS data showing only 27% of people in Scotland described themselves as British, with the rest preferring to identify themselves as Scottish. In Wales 35% said they were British and 62% Welsh. Their loyalty to the England cricket team may also be questioned without impugning their patriotism.

A 2009 Home Office consultation paper titled “Earning the Right to Stay” proposed a points system to determine who was qualified to be a British citizen. The paper suggested that points should be deducted from a person’s score total, if they demonstrated an “active disregard for UK values”. What constitutes an “active disregard” was never made clear.

It never meant criminal activity, perhaps it meant an action that was within legal boundaries, yet was disrespectful. As an individual I feel uncomfortable having to stand for the British national anthem or saluting the flag – I don’t really believe in the monarchy, and the flag is a emblem of colonial expansion that dominated the countries of my fore fathers.

So perhaps I am showing an active disregard?

But I am already here. There is nothing much that can be done about us who are already here, but for those who wish to enter it’s a different ball game.

“I want to see a greater pride from British people about their own culture and identity – English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish, so that people can actually celebrate their own sense of identity much more clearly and have the confidence to celebrate and welcome other people.”

David Blunkett, Home Secretary, 2003, at the launch of the “Britishness Test”

In other words, immigrants will be tested so that British people can feel better about themselves.

At it’s core root, identity politics insists upon the premise that who we are determines what we do and how we think. The assumption being of course that there is one singular proscribed way of being British, or at the very least a behavioural standard below which no one may be considered British, seeking to set a standard to reach and the penalties for not meeting it.

It’s precisely these narrow, constrictive framings that never make any sense.

So who am I supporting?

Easy choice.


How English exactly is the cricket team?

Let’s start with the management, coach Andy Flower was born in South Africa and played for Zimbabwe. Spin bowling coach is Pakistan’s Mushtaq Ahmed, while Australia’s David Saker is the fast bowling coach.

Of the current squad ,captain Andrew Strauss, Matt Prior, Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott, Craig Kieswetter and Michael Lumb are all South-African-born but qualify through British parentage (though they still had to fulfil residency requirements), whilst Eoin Morgan is an Irish citizen, while Ajmal Shazad became the first Yorkshire-born player of a Pakistani background to play for Yorkshire and England.

England have been captained by a Scot (Mike Denness), four South African-born players (Tony Greig, Allan Lamb, Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen), three Indian-born players (Douglas Jardine, Colin Cowdrey and Nasser Hussain), Italian-born (Ted Dexter) and Australian-born (Gubby Allen). South African Cape Coloured player Basil D’Oliveira famously played for England during the Apartheid era, whilst other notable players of the past 20 years include Graeme Hick (Zimbabwe), Andrew Caddick (New Zealand) and Geraint Jones (Papua New Guinea/Australia).

In fact players of Pakistani, Indian and West Indian heritage have all represented England

Usman Afzaal, Kabir Ali, Sajid Mahmood, Owais Shah, Adil Rashid, Ravi Bopara, Ronnie Irani, Monty Panesar, Min Patel, Mark Ramprakash, Vikram Solanki, Phil DeFreitas, Dean Headley, Chris Lewis, Devon Malcolm, Gladstone Small, Alex Tudor

Almost a decade later after those comments, I remember watching a Channel 4 documentary entitled “The White Tribe”. Darcus Howe questioned Tebbit about his now infamous test.

To my astonishment, he admitted to being an immigrant himself from the lowlands of Europe, and preened as he spoke of how the tribes people from whom he came were proud to lift themselves from their lowly status up into the hallowed corridors of the English.

Tebbit’s test did not survive the passage of time and is now truly dead.

Perhaps it’s time for all those right wing politicians and commentators who talk about multicultural aspect of Britain being a failure being hit out of the park for a six.

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Filed under Great Britain, Identity, Morals & Ethics, Racism, UK politics

John Galliano Looking At Prison Stretch For Anti-Semitic Remark In Racist France

The absurdity of the fallout from a recent alleged “anti-semitic” remark by the head of fashion house Dior John Galliano should be viewed with incredulity, after all racist attitudes permeate within French society.

Though the self-proclaimed home of “liberté, egalité, fraternité”, France seems not yet to have come to terms with being a multicultural society. Racist attitudes within political and police circles are rife.

Paris prosecutors ordered John Galliano yesterday to stand trial for public insult, which caries a sentence of up to six months and a fine of $30,350. The designer apologized for his behaviour, but continued to deny he made anti-Semitic remarks at the Paris café La Perle, where the first complaints were raised.

The double standard should be obvious for all, after all it’s acceptable for French politicians to ban the Niqab, stirring up an Islamophobic atmosphere which means that five million plus Muslims in France are being discriminated against when it comes to finding a job.

Individuals like Kemi Seba are helping French youth to find their political voice.

If you’ve ever spent time in France, then you would know that racism is a major issue in French political and social life, if you’re coloured and tried hailing a cab late at night in Paris, then you know what I’m talking about.

It’s not only Muslims, but all people of colour in France who get it, remember the French riots of 2005?

Why not try and tackle the deprivation and alienation of your citizens?

Or are Black and North African’s only required to win football’s world cup?

So anti-semitic sentiment is to be rightly fought against, but anti islamic sentiment is welcomed and written in to the constitution.

“We are, above all, a European people of the white race, of Greek and Latin culture and the Christian religion…and the Muslims, have you seen them…with their turbans and djellabas?

You can see clearly that they’re not French…Try to mix oil and vinegar. Shake the bottle. After a minute, they separate again.

Arabs are Arabs, French are French.”

– Charles de Gaulle, President of France, 1959

French moral midgetry at it’s finest unadulterated and racist best.

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Filed under Foreign Policy, Identity, Islamophobia, Media Unspeak, Racism

Why Are Increasing Numbers of “Black Britain’s” Reverting to Islam? Listen Here: Young, Muslim & Black

In the last two decades, Islam has become the fastest growing religion among Black people in Britain, this at a time when the UK appears more disunited over faith, ethnicity and identity than ever before.

More than two thirds of Muslims in Britain are of South Asian ancestry, leading many to believe that Islam is the preserve of these communities.

In this programme the writer and presenter, Dotun Adebayo, explores this phenomenon and asks why is Islam providing such an attractive religious alternative to Christianity for Black Britons seeking spiritual answers?

What do they get from Islam that they can’t get from their original faith?

Is this just a rebellion against the family and society?

He will talk to young black people about the reasons for their conversion and to Bishop Joe Aldred from the Black Churches who explains where he thinks the Black Majority Churches are going wrong and why he thinks they need to smarten up and get their message across to young people so they are comfortable with church.

Originally broadcast on Radio 4


Filed under Documentary, Great Britain, Identity, Islam, Morals & Ethics, Positive Relations Islam & West, Reports & Findings

Islamophobia & Anti-Muslim Hate Crime On The Increase – European Muslim Research Centre

In many countries government policies designed to control the Muslim community, to “domesticate” Islam, have put pressure on Muslims not simply to integrate into a multicultural society but to assimilate by abandoning elements of their Muslim belief and culture in order to enjoy a fuller participation in their new country.

The European Muslim Research Centre recently launched it’s newest report into Islamophobia and anti-Muslim Hate Crime, which can be viewed below.

Professor John Esposito’s foreword (P.27) makes for a very succinct analysis on the exponential increase in Islamophobic rhetoric and agenda.

Ask yourself the simple question, what are YOU doing to stem the tide of anti-Islamic hate that’s sweeping the world?

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Filed under Identity, Islam, Islamophobia, Positive Relations Islam & West, Reports & Findings, Think Tanks

Book Review: “We Are A Muslim, Please”

Zaiba Malik grew up in Bradford, in the heart of the Pakistani community which gave the city one of its nicknames, Bradistan. Her father prayed five times a day and she stayed up with him throughout the night during Ramadan, reading the Qur’an. At school, she was the only girl in her class from a Pakistani family. She left home, went to university and became a journalist.

An excellent 5 part adaptation of the book appears on BBC Radio 4’s “Book of the week” programme and is worth a listen.

Her memoir describes a world already disappearing into social histories. The Pakistani migrants of the 1960s were far from well-off and Malik’s father worked ten-hour shifts at a textile mill. Malik lists the narrow confines of a home life she felt unable to talk about at school: there were no holidays, with the exception of her father’s annual pilgrimage to Mecca; an elderly, disabled uncle lived with the family; and the only time Malik went out at weekends was to visit WH Smith with her father.

Growing up involved a struggle between irreconcilable identities, a process she describes with humour and insight. “I knew I was a Muslim long before I knew I was British,” she writes. “And I knew I was Pakistani long before I knew I was English.”

The family spoke Punjabi at home, shopped at halal butchers and treated authority figures with exaggerated respect. The only visitors to the house were “men with baggy white trousers and little caps and women with baggy white trousers and headscarves”. Older women known as “the Aunties” policed the community, expressing disapproval if they spotted someone’s son or daughter adopting non-Pakistani habits.

Since 7/7, there has been a spate of memoirs about growing up in Muslim communities. This is one of the better examples, and it vividly conveys the secure but stifling atmosphere Malik left behind when she went to college. Her re-assessment of her faith predates 7/7 – it was inspired by her arrest and brutal interrogation when making a documentary in Bangladesh – but she is also motivated by anger towards the four young men who killed 52 strangers in London five years ago. The book includes a letter to the suicide-bomber Shehzad Tanweer, born in the same area of Bradford as Malik.

Obviously the book is about Islam and its role in the lives of 1960s immigrants and their children. Yet there is another dimension to Malik’s experience she barely touches upon, and that is class. My northern working-class family did not have holidays, regarded authority figures with awe and assumed the right to direct children’s lives. Conservative social values are not exclusive to Muslim families. Immigrants have always struggled to make sense of the competing claims of different cultures until the emergence of a successful new middle-class resolves the conflict, but it is to thoughtful people like Malik that the future belongs.


Filed under Arts & Media, Book Review, Identity