A Controversial opening act at the famed Sanremo Music Festival

February 19, 2014

 

Souad Sbai, a former MP and president of the Community Association of Moroccan Women in Italy (ACMID Woman) expressed her outrage at the choice of Cat Steven to open the famed Sanremo music festival. In a note Sbai said “I’m sorry I have to note once again the inability of state television to act as a public service. I find it shameful that the Parliamentary Oversight Committee at Rai television did not intervene to avoid hosting a controversial celebrity for the opening of the Sanremo music festival” Sbai is against the British singer-songwriter Cat Stevens, because in the “in the 1970s converted to Islam and now goes by the name Yusuf Islam” and “ he continues to be on the blacklist for traveling to the United States.” Sbai then points out that “in 2006, here in Italy, the pop star was the subject of a parliamentary panel led by the Minister of the Interior, Giuliano Amato, for an interview in which he spoke about Islamic propaganda.”

 

Andkronos: http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/News/Spettacolo/Sanremo-Souad-Sbai-Cat-Stevens-in-lista-nera-Usa-era-meglio-non-farlo-esibire_321244456940.html

Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) to Open Sanremo 2014

February 15, 2014

 

Yusuf Islam was announced as the international guest for Sanremo (the large music competition held in Italy every year). In a press conference, held last Monday Fabio Fazio announced that Yusuf Islam, who for all connoisseurs of his music will always be Cat Stevens, will be the international guest on the first evening of the festival, scheduled for February 18.

The British singer-songwriter became popular in the London of the sixties beginning his career in the pop genre. Since completely changing his lifestyle, Yusuf Islam still looks himself by continuing to have an unshaven look while shouldering an acoustic guitar. In his latest album, Islam echoes the Mediterranean in his tracks with especially intimate lyrics focusing on the cultural and social scene in Britain, increasingly divided by economic differences.

 

Soundsblog: http://www.soundsblog.it/post/249915/sanremo-2014-yusuf-islam-cat-stevens-ospite-internazionale

Musical News: http://www.musicalnews.com/articolo.php?codice=27016&sz=6

Today: http://www.today.it/media/sanremo-2014/cat-stevens-ospite.html

Comic for tolerance

Febraury 2, 2014

 

Soufeina Hamed (24) is from Berlin, studying Intercultural Psychology at the University of Osnabrück. She decided to wear a headscarf. Having observed and experienced marginalization and prejudices against Muslim females, Soufeina begun to draw comics about daily life of Muslims and non-Muslims in German society. The comics confront stereotype patterns of prejudices with creativity and intelligent humor.

 

Spiegel: http://www.spiegel.de/unispiegel/wunderbar/muslimische-studentin-mit-kopftuch-comics-fuer-toleranz-a-950428.html

Shehneela Ahmed, football agent

January 26, 2014

 

The first Muslim woman to qualify as an FA-approved football agent, Shehneela Ahmed, has announced that she is on a mission to open up the sport to more female players and people from ethnic minorities. Her sentiments exactly. The daughter of Pakistani immigrants, Ms Ahmed, 42, who moved from Rochdale to London after graduating from Staffordshire University and also works as a duty solicitor, said: “This will have a big impact on my career as I intend to promote more people from the Asian background to encourage their children to take part in the sports industry.”

“After spending all day dealing with criminals, footballers are a doddle,” Ms Ahmed explained. Ms Ahmed, who received her license in September added: “I’ve had clients approach me, from players, managers and clubs, and I’ve had some really good feedback so far.”

With only eight of the 4,000 players in the Football League of Asian descent, you find Ms Ahmed is not resting on her laurels. “I want to prove to ethnic minorities and females that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything,” she said.

 

The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/i/page-3-profile-shehneela-ahmed-football-agent-9073254.html

 

Student and women’s groups write open letter to UN condemning gender segregation in UK universities

January 15, 2014

 

Students and women’s groups have written an open letter to the UN to condemn gender segregation at British universities. Writing to the UN’s special rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, the signatories are hoping to build pressure on UK universities to ban segregation of any kind.

They write: “Gender segregation reinforces negative views about women, undermines their right to participate in public life on equal terms with men and disproportionately impedes women from ethnic and religious minorities, whose rights to education and gender equality are already imperilled.”

The letter appeared on the LSE student union page on Tuesday, and has been signed by various people including Chris Moos, the secretary of LSE’s Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society, and Nahla Mahmoud, the spokesperson for the council of ex-Muslims of Britain.

Mr Moos, who was recently involved in a freedom of expression battle with LSE, believes that any type of segregation should be fought and that the UN pressure would help public discussion.

Universities UK and the Federation of Islamic Students Societies were both targets in the open letter. Last December, UUK said in a report that “Assuming the side-by-side segregated seating arrangement is adopted, there does not appear to be any discrimination”, but later clarified their position, saying: “[UUK] agrees entirely with the prime minister that universities should not enforce gender segregation on audiences at the request of guest speakers”.

FOISS were mentioned as their guidelines recommend societies “maintain segregation between brothers and sisters, keeping interactions between them at a minimum”.

A march has also been planned which will take place on March 8th.

 

The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/student/news/student-and-womens-groups-write-open-letter-to-un-condemning-gender-segregation-in-uk-universities-9061327.html

Guerilla street artist Princess Hijab “hijabizes” advertisements in Paris

A young Paris-based guerilla street artist who calls herself Princess Hijab has been “hijabizing” advertisements, spray-painting veils and body-length chadors onto the lightly dressed models. The mysterious artist, who remains anonymous, says she is fighting Jihad through art.

In the online gallery of her “hijabizing” of ad campaigns, lightly clad models in ads for Virgin Music and various clothing companies have been re-dressed by the Princess in veils and chadors, their eyes popping out of face-covering hijabs. They are striking as much as they are irreverent, and they have caused anger in both Muslim and secular circles.

Princess Hijab claims that her hijab campaigns are not plastered on the streets of Paris as an act of “art for art’s sake”, but instead represent a part of what she calls “art propositions for a more global idea.” In this global idea, Princess Hijab pursues what she calls her “noble cause”, or her “anti-advertising movement” in an attempt to fight today’s mainstream and sexist consumerism.

Her works will be on display in an exhibition at the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York between May 22 and August 29, 2009. The exhibition “The Seen and the Hidden: Dis_Covering the Veil” is going to show numerous pieces of art around the veil, including also Marjane Satrapi’s famous graphic novels and many other works of (Western) Muslim artists.

Princess Hijab’s websites:
Personal Website
MySpace Page

More information:
“The Seen and the Hidden: Dis_Covering the Veil”
May 22 to Aug 29, 2009
Austrian Cultural Forum, New York
Event Website