Saturday, August 13, 2005


Alhamdullillah, I just got back after attending the Muslimfest 2005 in Mississauga, Ontario.This is a festival that showcases talented Muslim artists,musicians and comics and offers families a unique opportunity to enjoy themselves in a safe and inclusive atmosphere.Among the highlights of the day were performances by Wharnsby Ali and 786,an art exhibition and the Allah made me funny tour.Special sessions were held for children and there was a steady flow of food and drink;something that is important for us Muslims!

I am glad that Muslims are fighting the stereotypical image that we lack humor,are unable to express ourselves artistically and fail to appreciate the fine things in life. Thanks to a dedicated band of volunteers drawn from across Toronto,this festival went a long way in dispelling that myth.Another heartening aspect was the enthusiastic involvement of young Muslims.It is encouraging that we are beginning to afford opportunities to our youth to channelise their energy in a constructive manner;this event proves that a good time can be had,albeit in a manner that is halal.Different perhaps, but great fun nevertheless.

One would think that an event like this would have earned the appreciation of the whole community. But wait,the usual suspects were up to their old game. Jawad at MWU ran a diatribe against the organisers accusing them of discrimination against women.Never mind that nearly half of the organising committee consisted of women, that there were more women than men in attendance and that apart from the Salah there was no real segregation of the sexes.His comrade in arms,Tarek Fatah had expressed the same sentiments last year and Jawad basically rehashes the same tired arguments.By the way, I doubt that either of them attended the Fest but truth is always the first casualty at the hands of these polecemists.

The one thing that these regressives are good at is indulging in unwarranted and baseless attacks on those who disagree with them.You can quote from the Quran and the Sunnah but that is of little consequence.It is always their way or the Highway.
I therefore suggest that Jawad and the other proggies talk the talk and walk the walk.How about they organise an alternative Muslimfest to show the rest of us fundo types how things should be done. And as a gesture of goodwill I am taking the liberty of drawing up a tentative programme.

1 The pleasures of Tantric sex - Asra Nomani
2 The art of erotica - Mohja Kahf
3 Alternative(read gay,lesbian and transgendered)lifestyles - Ahmed Nassef
4 Ijtihad 101 - Irshad Manji
5 Effective strategies to get on TV - Asma Gul Hasan
6 Who is a Muslim? The PMU/MWU approach - Omid Safi

The entertainment can perhaps be provided by belly dancers from Egypt,VJ's from the Arab version of MTV and maybe even a film by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.Who cares whether it is halal as long as everyone is having a ball.

All Salah sessions(if held at all) will be lead by Amina Wadud and will consist of mixed gender congregations.Anyone who refuses to pray behind a woman will be drawn and quartered or worse,publicly accused of being a Wahabi.

And any profit they make is theirs to keep;I am not interested in a cut!

Will they rise to the challenge?


Blogger izzymo said...

Salaam alaikum and YAAAY! AJ's back! Now you know it's much better to criticize than to actually pull together a group effort for the sake of Islam. Shame on ya! :) But, man, I wish I could have been there. My art was in the exhibit and from your description, it sounds like you had a great time. If only Muslims in America could do the same. I mean, we have ISNA but we need more grass roots orgs doing things like this in cities like New York, Los Angeles, etc. Thanks for the great posts.

10:02 PM  
Blogger izzymo said...

Oh, yeah, careful. They might take your ideas for a PMUNA Fest seriously, audhu billah!

10:03 PM  
Blogger ajsuhail said...

Thanks Risama for the kind words. I am hoping to come to ISNA so maybe we can meet there .Inshallah will confirm in a few days

9:30 AM  
Blogger Safiyyah said...

Assalaamu Alaykum.
Yup, I was there too. Just for one special art lady, whom I shall not mention. ;-) Kidding. But it was great. Risama, I'd never appreciated just how distinctive your art is until I came across it in the art exhibit and was able to recognize it right away as your work. Someone was selling your Eid cards too. Great stuff. There is incredible talent in the community. Some of the paintings were simply spectacular. The music wasn't all that amazing, but people seemed to like it, so all in all, a successful event, alhamdulillaah.

2:07 PM  
Blogger izzymo said...

Cool Aj! I hope to meet you there, insha'Allah.

Sis. Safiyya, thank you for this report. I know the exhibit manager and she would be very pleased to hear your kind words. And thank you for your complements. :::blush::: ;-)

11:54 PM  
Blogger izzymo said...

Cool Aj! I hope to meet you there, insha'Allah.

Sis. Safiyya, thank you for this report. I know the exhibit manager and she would be very pleased to hear your kind words. And thank you for your compliments. :::blush::: ;-)

11:54 PM  

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