Fighting FGM in Kenya: meet 3 inspirational anti-FGM activists creating critical change
Voice of Salam
by Elizabeth Arif-Fear
2M ago
February 6 marks International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). On this day, we rise up and declare clearly: we stand against FGM and those that practice, endorse and promote it. A harmful longstanding practice, FGM involves the cutting off and/or sewing up of a female’s genitalia (known as infibulation) in a bid to control her sexuality. Practiced in various forms (there are 4 types of FGM), it’s mostly carried out on young girls – from the age of infancy to 15. Why? Well, a girl is “cut” in a bid to retain her virginity, deny her right to sexual pleasure (e.g. in th ..read more
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Jesus, are you there? We’re in a bit of a pickle…
Voice of Salam
by Elizabeth Arif-Fear
4M ago
20 December 2023. Less than a week to go till Christmas. Just under a week since the Jewish festival of Chanukkah ended.   And over two months since the October 7 massacre by Hamas in Israel, setting off an intense war between Israel and Gaza. It’s all a bit depressing, bittersweet and well… unsettling, isn’t it? It’s a special, reflective and sacred time of year for many, yet it’s all come together in a horrible blur of hate… Speaking to a Jewish friend yesterday, I discovered how in a predominantly Jewish area of London, annual Chanukkah celebrations have been somewhat “dimmed” this yea ..read more
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Promoting positive peace: 5 ways we can fight the global decline in peace
Voice of Salam
by Elizabeth Arif-Fear
5M ago
Peace. It’s a word that we’ve heard a lot lately. With the recent outbreak of conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and Russia, the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, along with the continued conflict in Syria and Yemen, it’s clear that peace – or the lack of – is a global issue on many people’s minds. According to research by Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), the global picture is not looking good. In their latest global peace report (2023) – in which they provide a review of 163 countries – we saw the “ninth consecutive yea ..read more
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Documenting the lives of LGBTQ+ Palestinians seeking asylum in Israel: an interview with playwriter Tomer Aldubi
Voice of Salam
by Elizabeth Arif-Fear
7M ago
By Elizabeth Arif-Fear A few months back I had the pleasure of meeting Tomer Aldubi and was delighted to find out how much we had in common! A queer Israeli, Tomer has committed himself to fighting antisemitism – and embracing the arts! Writing his own (first!) play, he’s critically raising awareness of the plight of queer Palestinians in the West Bank and their journeys seeking asylum in Israel. Sharif: in the closet to outside his home His debut play “Sharif شريف” is quite unique. It’s a moving drama portraying the real life struggles that LGBTQ+ Palestinians face. Written and directed by T ..read more
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My interfaith journey (part 2): why I’m a Sufi… and why I’m not
Voice of Salam
by Elizabeth Arif-Fear
9M ago
By Matt Pointon This blog is part of a series where I look at various faiths and explore where they have inspired me and where I have questions/struggles. Although I am Christian, I believe that God wants us to explore and learn from other traditions as part of our spiritual journey. This is my journey, no one else’s, and this series of blogs merely record how I see things. They are not intended to offend or convert, nor do I expect you to agree with me. I do however, appreciate feedback, friendship and further learning. Thank you! Other blogs in this series: My interfaith journey (p ..read more
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My interfaith journey (part 1): why I’m a Sikh… and why I’m not
Voice of Salam
by Elizabeth Arif-Fear
10M ago
By Matt Pointon This blog is part of a series where I look at various faiths and explore where they have inspired me and where I have questions/struggles. Although I am Christian, I believe that God wants us to explore and learn from other traditions as part of our spiritual journey. This is my journey, no one else’s, and this series of blogs merely record how I see things. They are not intended to offend or convert, nor do I expect you to agree with me. I do however, appreciate feedback, friendship and further learning. Thank you! Unlike many journeys of exploration, I can pinpoint exactly wh ..read more
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Gaslighting 101: can you recognise this form of emotional abuse?
Voice of Salam
by Elizabeth Arif-Fear
10M ago
By Abda Khan Here in the UK, domestic abuse is rife. In England and Wales for example, the police receive a domestic-abuse related call every 30 seconds. However, the reality is much deeper. With only 24% of cases of abuse are reported to the police, we know that more and more people (of all genders) are suffering. There is, however, a massive gender disparity, with 84% of victims identifying as female and 93% of perpetrators identifying as male. Domestic abuse tears apart lives, with long term – even deadly – consequences. For example, affected women are twice as likely to face depression and ..read more
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The tough questions most Muslims ignore
Voice of Salam
by Elizabeth Arif-Fear
11M ago
By Fiyaz Mughal Islam’s history contains some glorious periods, spanning Andalusia, Baghdad and the seats of learning and art that they created. I am proud to be attached by birth to this part of our cultural heritage. However, over my life I have come to understand that Islam initially grew from a zealous desire to spread the faith out of Arabia and across parts of Africa and the Middle East. Like any religion, it has its bloody history. Muslims have never seriously debated the really hard questions, such as whether Islam’s supremacy over other beliefs is simply based on man-made legitimacy a ..read more
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Food poverty in the UK: it’s time for critical change
Voice of Salam
by Elizabeth Arif-Fear
11M ago
Across the UK, many of us have been increasingly feeling the financial pinch. With the cost-of-living crisis due to rising inflation, food prices have risen again and again. In fact, here in the UK, they’ve gone up by 19.1% (in the last 12 months up to March 2023). Everyday products such as butter, pasta and bread getting more expensive. Research has found that some products have more than doubled in price. As a result, more and more people are struggling to make ends meet. The UK charity Trussell Trust recently recorded more than 760,000 people were forced to reach out to one of their food ba ..read more
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Visiting my local gurdwara: 4 interfaith lessons from Sikhism we can all embrace
Voice of Salam
by Elizabeth Arif-Fear
1y ago
As a British-Italian convert to Islam, I’m more than familiar with both Islamic and Christian traditions. Christianity formed a key part of my upbringing and I’ve been Muslim now for over a decade. I naturally have quite a soft spot for the Abrahamic faiths – something that’s more than evident by my years of exploring Jewish and Jewish-Muslim circles too. However, when it comes to the Dharmic faiths (Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism), I’m not as familiar with this part of the world! And so, the learning and exploring has slowly been growing! That’s why, I was delighted to visit the Guru ..read more
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