A Sikh gurdwara attacked in Afghanistan
The Islamic State group has admitted responsibility for an attack on a Sikh gurdwara in Kabul, Afghanistan, which killed at least two worshipers and injured seven others. The Associated Press cites reports that a vehicle packed with explosives exploded outside the temple. In a statement, the Islamic State, also known as Isis or Daesh, said the battle lasted three hours after a member of the group stormed the temple, killing the guard and then targeting the people inside with machine gun fire and hand grenades. He said the action resulted from alleged insults uttered against the Prophet Muhammad by an Indian government official. There are about 80 Sikh families in Afghanistan, up from 500,000 Sikhs in the 1970s.
Islamophobia in UK ‘much worse’ than five years ago
Five years after a van rammed into Muslims near Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, its chairman has warned that Islamophobia in the UK is ‘much worse now than it was there five years ago.” Speaking at a memorial service, Mohammed Kozbar said Muslims still do not feel safe. In the attack, Makram Ali, a 51-year-old grandfather, was killed when a van rammed into a group outside a welfare centre. During the memorial service, his daughter Ruzina Akhtar said people should speak out against any Islamophobic behavior so that it is immediately addressed.
Muslim Council of Britain joins calls to rethink Rwandan politics
The Muslim Council of Britain has joined growing calls for the government to rethink its controversial plan to deport those seeking asylum in the UK to Rwanda. Zara Mohammed, general secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “Earlier we raised concerns that this program would be discriminatory. This was confirmed by reports that the first deportees were those from Muslim countries fleeing persecution. I call on our leaders and the influential media to rethink their rhetoric. We must go beyond policies that appeal to the lowest common denominator and uphold our values of celebrating diversity and welcoming all.
Unleashing the creative talent of Muslims in Wales
A campaign to encourage and publicize the creative talent of Muslims in Wales was launched this weekend by the ‘Now in a Minute’ organization at the Wales Millennium Center in Cardiff. The sold-out ‘Unlocking Wales’ creative scene’ event featured exhibitions and faith-based panel discussions, such as ‘Where are all the Muslims in art?’ and “Does Islam Inhibit Creativity?”. Participants included actors, writers, illustrators, photographers and television presenters. The aim is to promote films by Muslim talent based in Wales, create a space for discussion of issues affecting communities and produce video tutorials and workshops to share skills in a variety of fields.
Archbishop of York ‘terrified’ before preaching at Platinum Jubilee
The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, told Premier Christian news he was terrified when told he had to preach a sermon at the Platinum Jubilee Thanksgiving service. He was invited at the last minute, as the Archbishop of Canterbury contracted Covid. Stephen Cottrell said the service was an opportunity to say something about the joy of the Christian faith in the life of the nation. His sermon is remembered for its racing references: “Let me observe that your long reign reflects the distance of Aintree more than the sprints of Epsom”.. and.. “Your Majesty, we are sorry that you are not with us this morning in person, but we are delighted that you are still in the saddle,” to illustrate how the Queen had “stayed the course” and that her service and loyalty mattered. He said he was humbled to think that somehow God was able to use his words to speak to many people.
Reverend Richard Coles makes his debut as a detective novelist
Reverend Richard Coles gave an interview to the Church Times about his new venture as a crime novelist. His first book in a series of three, Murder Before Evensong, has just been published and tells the story of a crime in a peaceful English village. He explained that one of his most powerful encounters in ministry was with a man who killed someone 30 years ago and was still haunted by it. He found parallels between being a vicar and a crime novelist, as both are looking for “what’s going on underneath”.
Rainbow over Cornwall ‘a sign of blessing’ for the Archbishop’s visit
The Archbishop of Canterbury visited Cornwall this weekend to encourage churches to reach out to the community. The diocese is embroiled in a vigorous debate over how it spends its money, with the Save the Parish campaign claiming it pumps money into evangelistic missions at the expense of supporting parish work. The Bishop of Truro, Philip Mountstephen, was quick to see a sign of divine intervention, post a image of an arching rainbow as “an amazing sign of blessing” for the Archbishop’s visit.