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Co Nten Ts The changing face of Islam: pages 4-15 The Balance: Pages 16-17 The Transition: pages 18-23 The Hawthorn House: pages 24-27 R.J Ellory, The Blitzkrieg: Pages 28- 35



‫مالسإلل ريغتملا هجولا‬

The Changing face of Islam Does a religion need to change to fit in with today’s society?

5 By Connor Lucock

Currently there is a huge debate that is being discussed in Britain, and the subject of this is the complete ban of women from wearing veils in public places and schools. Naturally there is a number of MPs that support the notion and a number that don’t, but we are going to explore what Muslims in particular think of the idea, how they are going to tackle it or welcome it and also what it means to be a Muslim in today’s society. society. On Thursday the 31st October, I

Patterned carpet which ran throughout

went to the Central Jamia Mosque in

the hall. I began to walk around the

Birmingham to speak to Imam Yaser

Mosque, heads we’re pricking up as I

about the current state of Islam in the

walked past groups of people sitting in

city. It was around 2:30pm when I ar-

the main hall, I seemed to be drawing

rived at the Mosque, and immediately

a lot of attention.

I was struck by the architecture that the exterior of the building had. From the outside I could tell that there was three floors, on the left hand side of the building was the ladies entrance, the main entrance was at the front, and to the right of the building was the wash rooms and toilets.

I ventured to the main entrance, which had a grey, granite flooring polished to perfection. I walked into the building, at this point I had to take my shoes off, and leave them in some wooden shoe racks. The prayer hall was quite large, it was also quite busy in there, I think it was prayer time. It was a large open space with a red


“ We Try To To Practice The Word Islam And That Islam Religion.

Imam Yaser

Motivate People Islam By Saying Peace Means Is A Peaceful

The Changing














welcoming and friendly, men were shaking my hand and introducing themselves to me. Imam Yaser then approached me from the opposite side of the prayer hall, shook my hand and gave me a quick tour of the Mosque, which he seemed to be quite proud of. He showed me the prayer hall on the second floor, this was far larger and far grander than the one on the lower floor, he told me that normally the bigger prayer halls are on the lower floor but this Mosque was slightly different. The second prayer hall had an enormous chandelier in the centre of the room, and dangling fairy lights accompanied the chandelier, which was something I wasn’t expecting to be there. Imam Yaser then took me to his office to begin our interview.

face of Islam Thank- you for agreeing to meet with

Key to increasing the popularity of

me today Imam, and thank you for

Islam, how do you motivate more

showing me around the Mosque itself,

people to start practicing Islam?

it’s been a insight into Muslim life.

I think that every religion is

That’s no problem at all, it has been

motivating more people to practice

my pleasure.

the religion, Christianity, Judaism and Islam, they all have specific

So I’d like to begin by asking you

people that motivate others. We try

this: Where we are at the minute,

to motivate people to practice

as in the current location of this

Islam by saying the word Islam

Mosque, do many Muslims know that

means peace and Islam is a peaceful

you are here and how popular is the

religion, it gives respect to everyone,


it gives protection to everyone even

Well I would say that Islam is the

if they are Muslims or not. Even the

UK’s most popular religion at the

Islamic rules say that if non Muslims

present moment, especially in the

are living in a Islamic country we

Birmingham area, for example you

have to give protection to them. We

can see Muslim’s everywhere in

have to protect them and give them

Birmingham. Therefore, we are quite

their rights.

a popular Mosque and I hope that the popularity will increase.

Are you finding it hard to get people motivated?

So how do you plan to make the

Yes, it is hard, it is not easy to

popularity increase?

convert someone to the Islamic ways.

Well it is our objective to motivate

If I say to you that you should be a

people towards Islam.

Muslim, you would reject me. I live in my own Muslim community, I abide

Okay so if motivating more people is

by my religion and sometimes when

The Changing you leave your community to convert

you are living in a Islamic country or

to a new religion, you suffer a lot. So

a non Islamic country, you have to

it is very hard in fact.

respect the countries rules and before we get our nationality we take

Is there a strong Muslim community

note of these rules. As for affecting

specific to one area in Birmingham or

other peoples religion, if you abide

are they dotted around the city?

by your own religions rules then you

I would say the there is just one

shouldn’t be affecting any other

strong community, the Muslim

religion. For example if you pray five

community is very strong, I do not

times, we Muslims pray five times a

think that there is a specific area but

day, no one will be stopping you, you

it depends. There are some area’s

aren’t harming anyone else are you

where there is a lot of Muslims lets

by praying?

say 90%, in other area’s there is only 50%, but the majority of the area’s

So do you think if a Muslim living in

around this Mosque are mainly

Birmingham was to get a job in, let’s

Muslim inhabitants.

say a bank, do you think that that person would have to change to a lot

You live in a country which is set on

to fit in?

different rules and regulations

There is not a specific dress code in

towards religion’s, how can you

Islam, just as long as your body is

represent yourselves as Muslims and

covered. It is fine to wear anything.

not affect another religion or

If you want to wear a dress, it is fine


to wear a dress. What you wear does

There is a very easy way. We are for-

not affect your religion, or anyone

tunate that we are here in this coun-

elses. It should also not affect your

try, we have a right. Islam says that

work, so I dont think he or she has to

where ever you live, weather you are

change a lot.

face of Islam


The Changing


face of Islam Yesterday I was looking at a case

She can socialise with other people

where a Birmingham University has

so I am unsure what the issue is

banned Muslim head-wear. Obvi-

with identity. You can clearly see the

ously that will affect the women in

face. The ban is an on going fight

the Muslim community who want to

that we are trying to overcome, we

go and who attend that university,

have to educate people that we do

these women want to be educated

not try to oppress our women, but

but they are told that they are not

instead to do the exact opposite.

allowed to wear a Hijab because of identity issues. How do the women

Well then I’d like to thank you again

plan to get around this ban?

for your time, the answers have

Well actually there are two dress

been very informative and we have

wears. There is a Hijab and a Niqab.

had a insight to the Muslim

The Niqab is the dress where you

community in Birmingham.

only show your eyes. I would say

No problem, it’s been a pleasure.

that if you are practicing Islam in a non Islamic country, you shouldn’t

The topic of Muslim head-wear in a

wear the Niqab because of identity

public place is still a debate that will

reasons. If you have a job in a bank

in my eyes keep going on for a long

or in any other big companies, they

time. There are people in the

need to check your identity and if

Islamic faith that want to change

you wear a Niqab it is quite hard to

the ways of Islam to keep up with

check your identity as you can only

the 21st century ways and beliefs,

see the eyes. So what I am saying

other’s want to keep it how it is,

is don’t wear a Niqab, just wear a

how the Quran says.

Hijab. Hijab is to cover the hair and as long as the hair of the women is covered then there is no problem,


The Balance In terms of religious obligations, such as the Daily Prayers, Fasting, Poor-due, and Pilgrimage, woman is no different from man. In some cases indeed, woman has certain advantages over man. For example, the woman is exempted from the daily prayers and from fasting during her menstrual periods and forty days after childbirth. She is also exempted from fasting during her pregnancy and when she is nursing her baby if there is any threat to her health or her baby’s. If the missed fasting is obligatory (during the month of Ramadan), she can make up for the missed days whenever she can. She does not have to make up for the prayers missed for any of the above reasons. Although women can and did go into the mosque during the days of the prophet and thereafter attendance at the Friday Congregational prayers is optional for them while it is mandatory for men (on Friday). Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard against their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers or brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hand possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And 0 you believers! Turn all toward Allah that you may attain bliss. Surat-un-Nur (24) 30-31

The Transition

The Hawthorn House The Library of Birmingham has recently been opened in the heart of the city,

costing a mere £189 million pounds and housing one million books. The library also boasts 200 public computers, a exhibition room, music rooms and theatres, spaced out on a total of nine floors. It was opened by Malala Yousafzai, a Muslim girl who was shot in the head, who now calls Birmingham her second home. The new library was to replace the previous one which was built in the 1970’s, which was described by Prince Charles as ‘A place where books would be incinerated rather than read’. A lot of people are very happy with the new library but it has raised some concern, as a huge amount of money has been placed into the new building and not into the smaller library’s that are in Birmingham and the surrounding area’s. I visited Hawthorn House, a library which has recently been close and is currently being turned into a house.

After many weeks of persuasion, Mr. Sandhu allowed me to come to his house and get some photographs. I managed to get a few snaps around the building, which is now in the process of becoming a house for a family that had brought the house from the Birmingham City Council in 2011 for £775.000. The Hawthorn House building was made back a long long time ago. Hawthorn House was originally a Georgian building; it then became the house of Bullock the ironmaster in 1841 that had a foundry in West Bromwich. But since the Second World War, the local authority, which first was used as children’s home

By Meena Kumari

The Hawthorn House and nursery, had owned it. The building was Grade 2 listed and was turned into a public library and a social services office in 2010. Mr. Sandhu and his family, are re-doing up the whole house and are getting the inside of the building made from scratch, which includes making bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms etc. They are building on top of floorboards inside the house, which are 200 years old. There are over 50 rooms in this building, over the 4 floors of the house, from ground floor to the top floor. • Kitchen’s • Bathrooms • Living rooms • Dining Rooms • Bedrooms • Walk In Wardrobes • Pantry • Cinema Room • Cloak Room • Religious Room • And many more others. The Sandhu Family has estimated that the house will be made within the 2 years and are spending over £2millon on it.

So, it shows that the libraries in the area are not recieving the attention that they need from the council, however some like the Hawthorn House are being changed and not left to become derilict and a eye sore to the community.

R.J Ellory


Man on a mission...

RJ Ellory

Roger Jon Ellor y is a man on a mission. A mission to bring pride back to a city with a crucially impor tant and proud heritage flowing from within, yet many people are currenly completely or partially oblivious to it! Having been born and brought up in Birmingham he has first-hand knowledge of events that have conspired since his birth and beyond from extensive research into his beloved home city. Havin g g ive n th e la te s t o f hi s t a lk s a t th e A d r ia n B o u l t Hal l in th e B ir m in g h a m conse r v a to ire ju s t th e o t h e r week (3 1 s t Oc to b er 2 0 1 3 ) , i t w a s o n ly f ittin g th a t h e s hou ld b e th e re to in s til knowle d g e u p o n th e g en e ra l publ ic o f h is h o m etown c i t y. He’s m a d e n o s ec ret o f h i s pass io n fo r b r in g in g th e hi s to r ic p a s t o f B ir m in g h a m back in th e p re s en t, th is i s refl ec ted im m en s ely in t h e way h e we n t a b o u t th e t a l k . He p la n s to fo rc e th is r i g h t i nto th e p u b lic d o m a in , re-e d u c a tin g th e c ity a n d res to r in g th e o n c e s te ely, d et e r m in a tio n a n d “ N eve r

( A b o ve : E l l o r y re l a x i n g o n a w i n d ow s i l l d u r i n g phot oshoot )

s ay d i e ” a t t i t u d e o n c e h e l d by eve r y d ay fo l k s ri g h t h e re i n t he c i t y ( E s p e c i a l ly d u ri n g W W 2 wi t h t h e b l i t z k ri e g b o mb i n g ra i d s t h at s eve re ly c ri p p l e d Bri t a i n ’s w a r e f fo r t s ) .

K EEPIN G CA L M aN D c A R RY IN G ON . . . I f eve r t h e n ow c l i c h é d “ Ke e p c al m a n d c a rr y o n ” p h ra s e eve r d i d apply c o rre c t ly, I t wo u l d b e fo r t h e he roi c eve r y d ay p e o p l e o f Bi rmi n g h a m w h o ke p t t h e s h a d ow f a c t o ri e s ( e . g. L o n g b ri d g e ) o p e n t h ro u g h t h e fac e of a d ve rs i t y, ma n a g i n g . . .



Birmingham’s pivotal role in British and world history is severely undervalued and underappreciated...

R.J Ellory

These machines of Birmingham’s manufacturing might brought fear to it’s enemy and a symbol for a nation with fading hope to hold onto and believe in through the darkest of times...

Illustration: Joe Langham

t o keep p rovi d ing the

preventi ng the mar audi ng

fe are d that the ni g ht B l i t z

t ro o p s wi t h vi t al planes,

Nazi Bli tz k r i e g wave s

o f the ye ar be fo re m i g h t b e

t a n k s, m a ch i n er y,

from compl e te ly di s abl i ng

re pe ate d i n 1 9 4 2 .

a m mu n i t i on a nd supplies

key stra te g i c are as s uc h

t h a t wo u l d eventually help

as the s hadow f ac to r y i n

D ur i ng 1 9 4 1 , the Hurr i c a n e

c ru s h A d ol f H i tler and

L ong bridge , B i r mi ng ham

was de pl oye d by s eve r a l

t h e t h i rd rei ch of Nazi

and Airf i e l ds at R AF

s quadro ns fo r ni g ht d u t i e s ,

G e r ma ny i n t o s ubmission.

Big g in Hi l l , R AF U x br i dge

provi ng l ar ge ly i ndi f fe re n t

and RAF D e bde n.

as a ni g ht f i g hte r but


havi ng s o me s uc c e s s i n t h e One of the l e s s e r

ni g ht i ntr ude r ro l e . H i g h e r

known e pi s o de s i n the

pe r fo r manc e was re q u i re d

operatio nal hi s to r y o f

and the re fo re a de c i s i o n

the Spitf i re i s i ts us e as a

was made to c o nve r t t h e

A K A “ Ni gh t Fi g hters”

nig ht fig hte r. D ur i ng the

S pi tf i re Mk . V ’s o f 1 1 1

we re essen t i a l in

winter o f 1 9 4 1 /1 9 4 2 i t was

S quadro n fo r ni g ht f ig h t i n g .

P i l o t s l i ke Fl i ght Sergeant Pe t er Du r n fo rd of the now l egen d a r y 111 Squadron

BIRMINGHAM: U N c l o a k E D

the Shadow factories that HELPED wIn the war.

R.J Ellory

: R E V I R D RE . t l i p s t cen o n n i e h t Blood of B i rmi n g h a m w a s t h e s e c o nd most h e av i ly b o mb e d c i t y i n t h e count r y. S t a g g e ri n g ly, i t l o s t mo re o f i t s c i t i ze ns t o e n e my a c t i o n t h a n a ny o t h er pl ac e o u t s i d e L o n d o n . T h e Na z i B l it zk ri e g c a mp a i g n k i l l e d ove r 2 , 2 4 1 Brummi e s a n d s e ri o u s ly i n j u re d a n o t h e r 3, 010, w i t h 3 , 6 8 2 h a rme d sl i ght ly.

R.J Ellory

? . . . t o p s e h t x Mar


st r at egic N a zi bo mbin g targ ets:

Aerodrome Factory , Castle Bromwich: 1,200+ Spitfires & Lancasters Austin “Shadow Factory�, Longbridge: 2,866 Fairey Battles, Hurricanes, Stirlings & Lancasters Austin Works, Longbridge: 500 Military Vehicles alone per week Rover, Solihull : Bristol Hercules Engines Fisher and Ludlow, Birmingham: Lancaster Wings, Shell Casings, Bombs Reynold, Birmingham: Spitfire Wing Spars, Light Alloy Tubing GEC, Birmingham: Plastic Components SU Carburettors, Birmingham: Aero-carburettors Birmingham Small Arms (BSA) Factory, Birmingham: Rifles, sten guns (100% of all made)

The fact th a t th e Lu f twa f fe wa s unabl e to kn o c k o u t th e Roy a l A i r Force i n th e B a ttle o f B r ita i n owed mu c h to th e wo r ker s o f the Spi t f ire f a c to r y in Ca s tl e Bro m wic h , B ir m in g h a m . By the end o f th e wa r, th ey were prod uci ng 3 2 0 Sp itf ires a n d 2 0 L ancaster s a m o n th - m o re a irc r a f t than any ot h e r f a c to r y in th e UK . El s ewh ere in th e c ity, a t Longbrid g e , m e n a n d wo m e n tur ned out 2 ,8 6 6 Fa irey B a ttle s , Hurr ic a n es , Stir lin g s a n d Lancaster s ; wh ils t a t th e n ea r by A usti n works a lm o s t 5 0 0 a r my a n d ot her veh ic les we re m a d e ea c h week - as we ll a s a mu ltitu d e o f o th e r go o ds .

A ci t y u n i t e d By 1944, 4 0 0 , 0 0 0 Brummi e s were i nvol ve d i n w a r work a greater pe rc e nt age of t h e pop u l ati on t ha n a ny w he re e l s e i n t he UK . T h eir effo r t s have of t e n be e n overl ooked , w hi l s t t he s a c ri f i c e an d p ai n of t hos e w ho di e d h as b een forgot t e n. A f t e r a l l, th i s is a c i t y t ha t i t ’s pe ople shou ld b e ver y proud of i nde e d ! A ci ty wh o not only ove rc a m e o n e of huma ni t i e s mos t atrociou s f i g ht i ng forc e s a n d it ’s d ead l i est t hre a t but prove d to th e wo rl d t ha t me rr y ol d En glan d h a s s ome f i g ht i n he r

ye t an d c o u ld b e s to o d u p an d c o u n te d in th e d ar ke s t o f tim e s . I f any b o d y f ro m B ir m in g h am eve r n e e d e d a re as o n to b e p ro u d o f th e ir h o m e , th is v alu able p ie c e o f th e c itie s r ic h h is to r y ( Alb ie t a d ar k an d h o rr if ic tr age d y ) is all th ey will n e e d . A v iv id re m in d e r to eve r yo n e th e s e d ay s wh o are u n e d u c ate d to th e s e f ac ts o r c h o o s e to ig n o re th e m th at if it was n ’t fo r p as t ge n e r atio n s o f s u f fe r in g an d h ard s h ip th ey wo u ld n o t b e liv in g in th e f re e wo r ld we take fo r g r an te d eve rd ay with o u t re alis in g

N o on e l eft b eh in d Tw o B S A n i g h t - s h i f t electricians, Alf Stevens and Alf Goodwin, helped re s c u e t h e i r fe l l ow workers. Alf Stevens w a s aw a rd e d t h e G e o r ge Medal for his selfless a c t s o f b r ave r y i n t h e rescue and Alf Goodwin w a s aw a rd e d t h e B r i t i s h Empire Medal. Wo r k e r s w e r e b r o u g h t in to help search for and clear bodies to get the plant back into p ro d u c t i o n.


Brummie Efficiency

Cloaked Culture