Multicultural event celebrates Britishness

Muslim hip hop is as British as morris dancing — if not more so, claims a Sunderland lecturer. World-renowned academic Dr Amir Saeed from Sunderland University is fronting an event which aims to celebrate the true meaning of Britishness.

The senior media and cultural studies lecturer is chairing the “Music and Us” event on Sunday at Spitalfields Music Festival in London. “Being British doesn’t just mean playing cricket and the floral dance — if it ever did mean that,” said Dr Saeed. “It is important to celebrate multiculturalism in Britain, especially at a time when the BNP are beginning to have a real impact on politics in the UK.”

“Music and Us” will feature multicultural musicians and films by local people, as well as looking at how important music is to the way young people express their identities in modern Britain.

French Muslims Promote a “Cool Islam”

French rapper Medine promotes a toned-down Islam to French listeners with his hip-hop music. This article suggests that his music promotes full participation in a secular democracy and free market. Named after Medina, Medine doesn’t emphasize religious dogmas. Rather, he focuses on the universal principles his tradition shares with Western society. Amel Boubekeur of the _cole des Hautes _tudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris notes that Medine reflects a larger social phenomenon in France. Boubekeur has named this new widespread movement among second and third-generation youths in Paris cool Islam.

Islamist comments by German-Turkish Hip Hop Star?

The German-Turkish singer Muhabbet, who recently had a lot of press coverage because of its hip hop performance jointly with the German foreign minister, is confronted by sharp critics. He is supposed to have justified the murder of the Islam critic Theo van Gogh. Muhabbet is a prominent symbol of integration. But pop and politics do not necessarily fit together. Iris Alanyali reports.