March 8, 2013

We’re baaack!

And an amazing comeback it will be! Rajae and Malika are here to bring you inspiration from the halal sphere! Today, Rajae has released her new single and video ‘Gracefully’! Shot in Mulholland Canyon, Los Angeles.

But that’s not all! Today due to the launch of the international exhibition on Muslim women her documentary Hope will be released. The Dutch launch will take place at Podium Mozaique in Amsterdam. Expect a blog about the launch tonight! 

Enjoy the video!

(Source: http)

March 7, 2012

Heavy Rotation:

Yasiin Bey (Mos Def)

N****s in Poorest

Directed by Yasiin Bey & Set Free, edited by Andre Cole and produced by Yasiin Bey, Set Free and Andre Cole for Fellowship Mission.

March 6, 2012
Love InshAllah


Love, InshAllah book cover


Romance, dating, sex and – Muslim women? In this groundbreaking collection, 25 writers sweep aside stereotypes to share their search for love and speak openly for the first time about love, relationships, sexuality, gender, identity, homophobia, and racism.

These heartfelt narratives are filled with passion and hope, loss and longing: A quintessential blonde California girl travels abroad to escape suffocating responsibilities at home, only to fall in love with a handsome Brazilian stranger she may never see again. An orthodox African-American woman must face her growing attraction to her female friend. A young girl defies her South Asian parents’ cultural expectations with an interracial relationship. And a Southern woman agrees to consider an arranged marriage, with surprising results.

Everyone seems to have an opinion about Muslim women, even (especially!) those who have never met one. Co-editors Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi thought it was about time we heard directly from Muslim women themselves. You’ll be captivated by these moving, funny, provocative and surprising stories, each as individual as the writers themselves.

Love Inshallah [goes] to a place where few, if any, books have gone before. Lesbians, co-wives, converts to Islam, Shia, Sunni, black, brown and white: every voice is unique. Collectively, they sing of strength, passion and love. One can’t help but to sit back and listen, captivated.

- Samina Ali, award winning author of Madras on Rainy Days

A beautiful collection that reminds us all not only of the diversity of the American Muslim community, but the universality of the human condition, especially when it comes to something as magical and complicated as love.

- Reza Aslan, bestselling author of No god but God 

Release date: January 24, 2012

Available for pre-order on Amazon.com now!

(Source: loveinshallah.com)

November 11, 2011
The Light in Her Eyes

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The Light in Her Eyes is a documentary made by Julia Meltzer and Laura Nix. The documentary takes place at the Al Zahra mosque in Damascus, Syria, in the summer of 2010. Houda Al-Habash, a daughter, wife and mother of two children runs a Quran school for girls, which she started at the age of 17 in the women’s section of the mosque. When she started, she cooked and did her household chores during the night in order for her to be able to combine her career with her family life.

Houda’s program takes place during the summer. All of her students must also follow secular education in order to be accepted at the Qur’an school. This way she stimulates her students to get the most out of education as a means to combat ignorance. A friend of her daughter puts it very nicely. “If a mother never learns, how can she teach the next generation? A mother is a school. If you teach her, you teach an entire generation.”

I agree with Houda when she says that it is the Muslims themselves who have deprived women of everything. Even their right to learn or teach or to even enter a mosque. This ignorance has nothing to do with religion. The knowledge and awareness that women have acquired makes them see that there is a huge difference between traditions that have been followed without questioning, as opposed to what their religion prescribes them to do. “Our problem is lack of education. Ignorance affects religious practice.”

Once we get to know Houda’s mother, it is instantly clear why she developed the way she did. Her mom was one of the two girls in her village that could read. Like her mom beautifully puts it. “Education builds a strong foundation for a home… even a mansion can be destroyed by ignorance. Wise words which show that without knowledge ignorance will prevail.

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By now the number of women praying and studying in the Middle East has reached many thousands. In the film, aside from images of Houda, her Qur’an school and her students, we also see video clips of conservative Muslim clerics. During their TV performances they state that women shouldn’t study and that they should regard family life as their main focus. According to them, women have four duties, which are; to reproduce, to raise children, to take care of their husband and their household. It touches me that Houda works very hard to be a good wife and mother. She no longer cares about what the religious leaders, that counter the emancipation of women, think of her.

Riham is 13 years old and she wants to become a paediatrician. During her birthday her mother tells us that Riham will not continue studying once she has received her baccalauréat. This is a tradition in their family. For a moment my heart breaks. That is until I realise that Houda will not sit by and watch this happen and that she couldn’t be in better hands.

It is absolutely normal that once girls reach the age of 17 or 18 years, when receiving their baccalauréat, they get married. What is very impressive is that the daughter of Houda, Enas (20) studies Internation Relations at the University of Sharjah, UAE. In their community it is unheard of and absolutely not done for a girl to study abroad. Houda and her husband don’t care about that. Their intention is for their daughter to be able to reach further than her mother could in her ambitions.

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Houda is a role model unlike anyone. The Muslim community is in desperate need for people like her. It is impossible not to be inspired watching her run her school, lead and guide so many girls and women who are eager to learn. It takes great courage to go challenge the mainstream traditions while staying loyal to what one believes. This is exactly what Houda has done. It is because of her that many women have gotten the opportunity to evolve, something which would have otherwise been impossible. The impact of Houda’s work is massive and hopefully it will resonate not only in Syria but also in the rest of the world for a very long time.

The documentary, The Light in Her Eyes, will have its world premiere at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.

Saturday 19 November 19.00 Munt 13 - Tickets sold out! 

Tuesday 22 November 11.30 Tuschinski 5 - Buy tickets here.

Saturday 26 November 18.30 Tuschinski 3 - Buy tickets here

November 10, 2011
Halal market moving into mainstream?

We, at Generation Halal, have already presented you impressive numbers regarding the potential consumer market of Muslims worldwide (go here). It is estimated that the halal market alone is worth an estimated US $2.1 trillion a year and is growing at US$500 billion annually due to an ever-increasing Muslim population (source: http://www.ogilvynoor.com/). 

 halal branding

            In Asia and the Middle East, the heartlands of Islam, this trend of targeting a Muslim market with specialized, customized and Islamized goods and commodities has already established itself firmly. But what about Europe and other places outside of the original core of Islamic countries?

            In Europe, halal food is by now an accepted item in many super markets and food stores. But besides food, other commodities and products targeting the Islamic consumer are slowly  (and finally?) claiming a place in the mainstream consumer trade.

            The internet plays a key role in this process. First of all, through the internet Muslim consumers can inform each other very easily, for example through social media, about the appearance of new Islamic trends, merchandise and commodities. Second, the producers of these commodities often (only) use the internet as their base. Their business websites functions as web shop, pr- and media tool and service desk at once. Who needs a real office these times? Thirdly, the internet has not only been a catalyst for the coming into being of these new businesses concerned with Islamic commodities, it has also inspired others to do the same or similar thing. A Dutch saying says: Beter goed gejat dan slecht bedacht, which roughly translates as: “It is better to steal something good, then to invent something bad.”

            Remarkably, or maybe not, the products and commodities that are staking their claim most prominently these days are not tangible goods like food or clothing, but intangible cultural products like movies, art, music and media-life style. This trend seems to indicate that the halal market is not only about ‘goods’ as such, but also about creating and reconstructing present European culture. With the increased popularity of all kinds of halal cultural productions among European Muslim youth, can we say that the new generation of post-migration European born and based Muslims are making a way for the incorporation of halal culture into mainstream popular culture? Dr. Peter Mandaville is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public and International Affairs and Co-Director of the Center for Global Studies at George Mason University, and has presented an interesting analysis, or at least the beginning of an analysis, of this new trend. Check out his lecture on this topic here: http://islamicstudies.gmu.edu/events/1469. Mandaville sees this development as part of a process instigated by European Muslim youth that revolves around the creation of a new Western-Islamic vernacular.

            Generation Halal wants to know what you think? How do you see the future of this new halal market and culture? For your inspiration, Generation Halal has (randomly) collected - and in no way is this list supposed to be considered exhaustive - some links to websites, or articles on websites that also deal with this topic, ranging from Islamic punk music to hip-hop, from life-style to halal food, from TV programmes to movies, from fashion to toys. No doubt that some might question the ‘Islamicity’, halalness or Islamic legitimacy of some of these products. But maybe that is exactly what empowers this trend: popular culture is a flexible field of cultural products appealing to a great audience, but capable of carrying on a spectrum of wide-ranging interpretations and meanings.   

            Feel free to gives us your input or share your websites with us.

 

http://www.elan.com/

http://muslimworldmusicday.com/   

http://arcmmcc.wordpress.com/

http://muslimvoicesfestival.org/resources/muslim-voices-america-making-modern-music-scene

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/aug/04/islamic-punk-muslim-taqwacores

http://on4.it/islamtv/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b19h6q_EpE

http://www.allahtube.nl/index.php?c=remysoekirman

http://www.littlemuslim.nl/index.html

http://www.islamicstyle.com/

http://www.newmuslimcool.com/

http://welovehijab.com/

http://www.muslimhiphop.com/

http://www.islamicjewellery.co.uk/

http://muslimtoysanddolls.com/

 

Coming soon: a new blog on: ‘Muslim fashion = Islamic fashion = fashion?’

November 5, 2011
AMIR SULAIMAN - THE MECCAN OPENINGS - FREE EID GIFT TO YOU!

Bismillah. The call to the noon prayer has been made in the Holy Precincts of Mount Arafat. This means, The Meccan Openings, is available for you as a gift and sacrifice. Our brother and amazing artist, Amir Sulaiman prays you enjoy it and prays God accepts it. Spread the word far and wide. Eid Mubarak!

Go to: www.amirsulaiman.com to download the album.

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October 26, 2011

ON THE RADAR - ZEB AND HANIYA

A friend of ours works with these amazing artists and one word: Wow! The world is progressing and what a delight to listen to their beautiful and original songs! Tight arrangements and the vibe is ethereal! Also Big ups! for Coke Studio

Zeb and Haniya’s music speaks to a shared base of human experience while evoking the rich and textured soundscapes of West Asia. Cutting edge and commercially successful, the musicians write their own songs and also rework existing melodies of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. In doing so, the musicians carve a space for music that transcends national boundaries. The duo’s debut album, Chup (Hush) broke to glowing reviews in Pakistan: Herald credited Zeb and Haniya with creating an entirely new cannon of jazz-influenced numbers and blues in Urdu, and The News called their arrival “a landmark event.” All songs in the album, with the exception of Paimana Bitte—an Afghani composition from the 1970s—were written by Haniya and Zeb themselves. Consequently, the singer-songwriter duo has been described by Deutsche Welles as “among the most innovative musicians in Pakistan.” Across the border, India Today writes that “everything about their music reads as extraordinary.” Zeb and Haniya’s songs are set to music influenced by the classical tradition of the Indian subcontinent, Latin and west African grooves, American folk and blues, and their lyrics are poignant, soulful, and emotive. Their latest recordings have included songs in Turkish, Dari, and Pushto, and their music has been claimed by diverse audiences across West Asia.  They have also performed in Malaysia, Italy, France, Pakistan, and at music festivals in the U.S and Norway, and their music has been received with the generosity of spirit with which it has been composed. Zeb and Haniya’s music is truly global; their songs excavate historical memories shared across national boundaries, and their music speaks to audiences unfamiliar with the language in which their lyrics are written, but open to the transcendent sweep of music. 

(Source: zebandhaniya.com)

October 24, 2011

'Warriors' by Bamba Nazar

(Source: bambanazar.com)

October 24, 2011
Introducing: Bamba Nazar

De Nieuwe Liefde and Generation Halal proudly present artist, producer and activist Bamba Nazar. Coming Thursday, October 27, 2011, Bamba will perform at ‘De Avond van De Koran’, (Night of the Quran) at venue ‘De Nieuwe Liefde’ (The New Love) in Amsterdam. Who is Bamba Nazar? Generation Halal asked him five big questions, about Islam, his art and life. 

Brooklyn, USA, ’88 provided the backdrop to Bamba Nazar’s introduction and embrace of Islam, guided by the spiritual M’backe family, descendants of the legendary mystic Cheich Ahmadou Bamba from Senegal. Bamba had now come to grips with his natural self and experienced a sense of ‘homecoming’. A reconnection to his African roots.

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1: What is the role of role of Islam in your life? 

It’s the foundation I stand on. My guidance and solitude.

2: To what extent can art contribute to a better image of Islam?

Art can contribute to a more balanced and realistic picture of Islam. Different art disciplines will introduce the many different interpretations of the word and the faces behind it. The beauty of Islam is within its diversity. It was given to mankind universally, therefore variations to the theme are inevitable. Art is the catalyst that will reintroduce the Islam to the world.

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3: Which Muslim role models do you admire?

The role models I grew up on were Muhammed Ali, El Hadj Malik Shabbaz (Malcolm X), Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Outside of these four there are many more, non- Muslims included, that have made an honorable contribution to the freedom and independence of my people.

4: In what way does your art relate to Islam?

My art relates to Islam in that it stands for the principles of truth, justice and equality. It aims to communicate to the struggling masses. To be proactive passed prayer and make a difference to the reality we live in. To be fearless and fee from intimidation and limitation. To bring an awakening through music that resonates with people, universally.

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5: How do you see the future of Islam in Europe?

Allah knows what the future of Islam holds. I personally believe that the current course of events dictate that as Islam is increasingly used as a political scapegoat to serve political agendas, Muslims will at some point draw a line and say, enough already. Many of us tried and are still trying to make positive contributions to society. But the very society we support excludes many of us from really participating. Not just Muslims, but people of color period. This is where I believe a shift will occur in due time. Many will revert back to their respective backyards and abandon Europe as the economy disintegrates, anti-Islam / anti-“allochtoon” propaganda increases and safety can’t be guaranteed. Bottom line: Europe has many spiritual and moral outstanding bills to settle with much of the world. A time will come where it will have to answer for how it constructed the house it build.

More info: www.blackstereo.tv or www.bambanazar.com

Pictures: Courtesy of Black Stereo

October 23, 2011

All-American Muslim

The American television station TLC is going to broadcast the show All-American Muslim. In 8 episodes the viewers are given a glimpse into the lives of 5 diverse Muslim families. The families all live in Dearborn, Michigan home to a large Muslim community and the largest mosque in the United States. The show will air from the 13th of November 10/9c.

(Source: tlc.com)

October 22, 2011
Common Ground Between Islam and Buddhism

In a world increasingly dominated by a secular and materialistic mentality, there is a real need for the world’s faith communities to stand solidly together. “Common Ground Between Islam and Buddhism” 

On May 12, 2010, in Bloomington, USA, the Dalai Lama, joined by a panel of select scholars, officially launched the Common Ground project, which he and HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan had planned over the course of several years of personal conversations. The project is based on the book ‘Common Ground between Islam and Buddhism’, which was commissioned by HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad. It is hoped, with the publication of this work that the spiritual relationship between the two traditions will flower in many ways, including the promotion of a new realm of scholarship and research. The participants on the panel included Ingrid Mattson, Eboo Patel, and Reza Shah-Kazemi.

From the introduction by HRH Ghazi bin Muhammad:

The specific intention and goal of this endeavor is to identify a spiritual ‘Common Ground’ (authentically based on the religious sacred texts of Islam and Buddhism) between Muslims and Buddhists that will enable both communities to love and respect each other not merely as human beings in general, but also as Muslims and Buddhists in particu­lar. In other words, we hope to find out and understand what in our two great religions — despite all of the many irreconcilable and unbridge­able doctrinal, theological, juridical and other differences that we do have between us and that we cannot and must not deny — we have in common that will enable us to practise more loving mercy and respect towards each other more because we are Muslims and Buddhists, and not simply because we are all human beings. 

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The Dalai Lama smiles as he gives a gift of a silk scarf to Imam Plemon T. El-Amin of Atlanta’s Masjid of Al-Islam, one of America’s largest Mosque. The two shared the same table in a rare meeting between Buddhist and Muslim leaders.  (By Matt Stone, The Courier-Journal) May 12, 2010

In his foreword to the book, the Dalai Lama writes, “This is an important and pioneering book, which seeks to find common ground between the teachings of Islam and of Buddhism. It is my hope that on the basis of this common ground, followers of each tradition may come to appreciate the spiritual truths their different paths entail and from this develop a basis for respect for each others’ practice and beliefs. This may not have occurred very often before, because there has been so little opportunity for real understanding between these two great traditions. This book attempts to set that right.” 

Download the book here

October 20, 2011

Words I never said - Lupe Fiasco

Last week during the Hip Hop Awards, Wasalu Muhammed Jaco better known as Lupe Fiasco, gave what some described as: ” a controversial performance” of his song ‘Words I never said’. Lupe wore an Occupy t-shirt and a Palestine scarf, while performing the song. The backing vocals were done by none other than Erykah Badu who wore a niqab!  

(Source: bet.com)

October 20, 2011
Malika Mouhdi interviewed by German online youth magazine Fluter.de

Recently our team buddy Malika, was interviewed by a German journalist about her blog activities at the Dutch muslim platform, Wij Blijven Hier! One of the points she’s trying to make in this interview is that the Internet has given us an opportunity to express ourselves and to fight against the stereotype that mainstream media has set. In the Dutch blogosphere this is exactly what Wij Blijven Hier! is doing. The blog gives a great view in the diversity of the muslim community and an insight in the world of muslims living in the Netherlands. The interview is now online at Fluter.de. For those of you who can’t read German, use Google Translator!  

October 19, 2011

Hamdulillah - The Narcicyst

A brilliant video for the song ‘Hamdulillah’ by the Narcicyst. A journalist and Hip Hop artist, who was born and bred in Basra, Iraq. He currently resides in Montreal, Canada. The video is a beautiful portrait on the diversity in the muslim community. Not to mention a dope song! Hamdulillah! Enjoy! 

(Source: iraqisthebomb.com)

October 17, 2011
M u s t. r e a d & s h a r e. w i t h. a l l. y o u r. s i s t e r s & b r o t h e r s!!!
There are very few authentic books on prominent Muslim women that inspire generations to come. This book is a preface of a 53-volume biographical dictionary of the 8000 Muslim women who studied and taught hadith in the history of Islam. It demonstrates the central role women had in preserving the Prophet’s teaching. A decades work during which Dr. Mohammad Akram Al Nadwi documented biographical accounts of 8,000 female scholars of hadith (Muhaddithat). Before he began his research the scholar, a fellow of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies was not aware of the number of scholars he would uncover. That women were able to attain a high rank in all fields of knowledge, that they were actually preferred over men to teach fiqh and tafsir due to their longer lifespan, that after Hajj students would flock to Medina to learn from the Muhaddithat, and that men were sometimes students to their wives, is an unknown fact…..

M u s t. r e a d & s h a r e. w i t h. a l l. y o u r. s i s t e r s & b r o t h e r s!!!

There are very few authentic books on prominent Muslim women that inspire generations to come. This book is a preface of a 53-volume biographical dictionary of the 8000 Muslim women who studied and taught hadith in the history of Islam. It demonstrates the central role women had in preserving the Prophet’s teaching. A decades work during which Dr. Mohammad Akram Al Nadwi documented biographical accounts of 8,000 female scholars of hadith (Muhaddithat). Before he began his research the scholar, a fellow of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies was not aware of the number of scholars he would uncover. That women were able to attain a high rank in all fields of knowledge, that they were actually preferred over men to teach fiqh and tafsir due to their longer lifespan, that after Hajj students would flock to Medina to learn from the Muhaddithat, and that men were sometimes students to their wives, is an unknown fact…..

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