November 11, 2006

Love Music Hate Islamophobia

After my time in Finsbury park I wasn't sure how paranoid an Islamic event like this would be about cameras so I met Ishmael from Mecca2Medina thru Mohammed from Blind Alphabetz to OK filming at the Love Music Hate Islamophobia event. He was flyering in Oxford circus and I was able to explain a bit of what I was about. I needn't have worried as there were a couple of people filming and it was just a normal university style debate with a mellow alchohol free gig in the bar. I've been quite bitterly against going to these "preach to the converted" style things for a long time, choosing instead to spend my time arguing with Republicans but I must admit I've enjoyed this one and I was suprised to find my usual cynical self encouraged by the comradeship of it all.

The people from I Was There have been calling most days wanting a Hamza story "brought up to date" so with this in mind I wrote down a question for Yvonne Ridley. Looking at it now, it was a bit confrontational but she answered it very well. I'm going to make sure I've got it on tape before I expound further. Rakim from Mecca2Medina was a very inspirational speaker too. A lot of questions didn't really get answered because they did the usual thing of taking questions 3 or 4 at a time and then going to the panel which naturally allows them to pick and choose from memory. This sort of thing gets quite heated when people are angry and want their questions answered sometimes but thankfully not this time.

The gig was OK, it got better as it went on but I had to go cos my girlfriend was stuck at Seven Sisters with no dosh so I missed Mecca to Medina. Overall I thought that although a small scene, there were plenty of characters who would go well on film. Popping out for a quick cigarette I met two enthusiastic young North Africans who were dead against it all.

"We wouldn't have come if we thought it was like this." they said.

They thought that in Islam if you were going to do "music" the words should be clearer and Men and Women should be segregated. They went down stairs for more though.

If I was Islamic I would have critisized them saying "But you are smoking!" but as I'm not, I don't care. I told them they were very opinionated, that it was good to set up contrasting sides in a film without antagonism and took their email addresses for future reference.

The wierdest thing that happened, I met the kiwi guy who used to frequent Finsbury park on occasion. It was such a long time ago that I can't remember if he made it into any of my edits but we recognised each other straight away. I'm not sure of the details but he told me he was arrested handing out flyers outside a London train station predicting bombings just weeks before 7/7. He wanted to check my stuff out before going on camera about all this but obviously I want to dig a bit deeper. He ended up with a 18 month suspended sentence.

A friend of mine said "If this was christians rapping you'd be dissing it wouldn't you?"

I can see his point in a way, but if Christians were in the situation Islamists find themselves here I'd like to think I'd be standing with them like this and I thought the vibe they put across was just perfect. I thinkIslamic rap could be a very important "cross cultural" thing just now.

More power to all of them.

One of the best things Yvonne Ridley said was how the Islamists are in the situation the Jews were in during the rise of fascism in Nazi Germany. How did that start? With demonizing cartoons. She's right, isn't she?


Indigobusiness said...

Pardon the interruption, I don't mean to distract from the thrust of this post, but I saw a demonstration of this new invention and I thought of you.

Computerized self-adjusting guitar tuners.

Just swap-out the parts, quickly set for any sort of tuning and go...always in tune.

Pretty cool, even for a quasi-Luddite like me.

dave bones said...

well I suppose your comment relates to the "love music" part anyway no?

Indigobusiness said...

Yeah, that's why I put it here, but your post deserved more relevant commentary, I figured.

I'm too far down the post-peak slide to try to comment relevantly on anything.

The election was a rocket ride.

dave bones said...

You are really hopeful? Do you feel a breath of new air sweeping your nation? I felt like that when Blair first got in. I thought he was really inspired and things would change.

I've read a few hopeful things about the mindset of the new defence secretary.

I feel more worried.Like everyone has thought "shit- this is bad".
about Iraq. Like Iraq is going to go the way of Yugoslavia only this will have a lot worse conotations for all of us.

I'm still waiting for someone to turn up in your country with a real American vision. Politicians are so bankrupt now ts ripe for it but everyone seems too partisan.

Indigobusiness said...

People of real vision are largely ignored, perhaps because they are too blindingly brilliant for the tired eyes of an indoctrinated culture.

I'm hopeful the suffering/misery index will be ratcheted down. That's enough for me now, enough cause to celebrate whole-heartedly.

In terms of the bigger picture, it's obvious to me we are past the tipping point with dying seas, desertifying Amazon/Congo basins, poisoned lands/waters and unprecedented mass extinction. Still, we play each hand we're dealt (as much as I despise game and sports analogies)'s important to go forward as best we can.

The next few years will see the world waking up to the true calamity of our imploding natural world, and will expose petty politics and Machiavellian war adventure in an honest perspective and for what they truly are.

We have far less time than most people realise.