Wednesday, August 17, 2005

It's Good to Talk

'It's good to talk' - a quote from the cheery faced Bob Hoskins that became the sound-bite for BT’s advertising campaign in the mid-90s. Of recent, certain Bradford Muslims have also learned that it is good to talk. That is why they have organised an on-going series of ‘Question Time’ style panel discussions/debates using Muslim leaders and youth from all backgrounds, schools of thought, persuasions and parties to answer questions and give comments on societal issues affecting Muslims in Bradford. The organisers have called it ‘Have Your Say’ and claim, that for every session they will invite a panel from a wide cross-section of the community, involving both male and female, young and old.

The first session is on Saturday the 20th August 2005 at the Alhambra Studios, Bradford. The panellists for this session are:

Maroof Shafi - Director of the Marmaduke Pikthall Academy and member of the Islamic Society of Britain.

Sher Azam - Spokesperson for the Bradford Council for Mosques.

Fatima Ayyub - Active local Muslim sister and mother of three children.

Dr. Rafaqut Rashid - A local GP, student of a traditional madrassa and author.

Nur al Ramadani - A local Muslim sister who is 18 years old and has just finished her A-Levels.

The theme for this session is ‘Coping with the aftermath of 7/7’.

It is often said that man is a rational animal, and, we believe that we will benefit from an opportunity to express our views as well as hearing the arguments of others.

I sincerely hope that this interesting idea serves as an impetus for a desperately required intra-community discussion. As opposing panellists learn the art of agreeing to disagree, perhaps this will serve as a unity inducing exercise.

Abrar ul Haq