Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Muslim Hijab Should Be As English As Bangers and Mash- St George's Day message

Saint George of St. George and The Dragon fame, and patron saint of England, had his celebration yesterday. 

Born to a Greek Christian family in Lydda, Palestine long before the Muslims laid claim to the land,  George set off and joined the Roman army. He was much  respected by the Emperor of the time, Diocletian, until Dio decided to have all his Christian soldiers arrested, forcing all others to offer sacrifices to the Roman Gods. George denounced the edict in front of his fellow soldiers, and his eventual demise came after he still refused to renounce his Christian faith in spite of Diocletian's bribes of land, slaves and money. He was martyred (beheaded) on April 23rd, 303AD.

Since the crusaders used St. George as their symbol- and so do some far-right groups in the UK- a bunch of religious leaders and organizations decided in order not to offend the Muslim population of good old England they would make some statements to promote inclusiveness:  they want hijabs to be as English as bangers and mash. For those who might not know, bangers and mash are a typical meal of sausages and mashed potatoes.

The Christian Muslim Forum, the Muslim Council of Britain, the City Sikhs Network, the Baptist Union of Great Britain, among others, said:
‘We want to promote a new, relaxed and confident English national identity. A place where a hijab is as welcome as bangers and mash, and no one is attacked for their race, religion – or lack thereof – or any other belief.’
"Although the Crusaders used the Cross of St George, St George actually lived before the birth of Islam and should not be associated with any hatred of Muslims. He is respected by many people in the Middle East because of his origins there."

They believe St. George has been co-opted by the "extreme right" groups including the English Defence League and the British National Party (BNP), and by George,

 ‘St George needs to take his rightful place as a symbol of inclusivity.

In addition to the above mentioned groups a declaration was signed by:

Three Faiths Forum, Faith Matters, Hope Not Hate and the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board.

From the Huffpo:

Fiyaz Mughal, director of Faith Matters, told HuffPost UK: "The Far Right do not realise that St George was part Greek and his mother came from the city of Lydda in Palestine.
"He actually epitomises what Britain now is, a vibrant multi-community country and Christians and many Muslims in the Middle East value the symbolism of St George.
"So we all have to reclaim it from the hatred, anger and violence of Far Right groups like the EDL who do not even know what it symbolises.”

There are plenty of Muslims in England who should take that whole "inclusivity" and letting go of hatred, anger and violence preaching to heart.

Sources: and  Huffpo

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