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Welcome to emel

Welcome to emel

Issue 1 Sept / Oct 2003

The first question you are sure to ask is “what does emel mean?” Well, emel is a new word made from the letter M (em) and the letter L (el) – M and L standing for Muslim Life. For that is what we want to capture – Muslim Life in contemporary Britain. The word however has deep roots in Arabic and Turkish, coming from the word amal meaning one’s hopes and aspirations; one’s longings and desires. So, emel is a new way of expressing what we want to say based upon a long and rich heritage.

 The name emel encapsulates all that we are trying to achieve with this magazine: talking about Islam in a vibrant and dynamic way; showing Islam as a living reality in Britain; creating a new culture of expression that blends tradition with the modern world. As Muslims in Britain we live Islam on a daily basis - the ups and downs, the exceptional and the mundane.  But we are very much seen in a two dimensional way: interested only in overseas politics and religious dogma. As Muslims we know that the reality is more sophisticated and certainly more beautiful. But nowhere is this expressed, just the negative and the controversial. Living Islam means we live every aspect of life as Muslims, but this is rarely seen. Our wit and humour, our fashion and style, our education and parenting, our cookery and our artistry, our finance and our sport, our politics and our faith are all too often overlooked and sometimes ridiculed. We need to see ourselves for the long and distinguished culture that we are; a major contributor to world civilization. Others need to recognise the same.

 emel will cover the diverse aspects of Muslim life. emel will capture the ground breaking work in Britain which has seen us creating a new culture based upon Islamic values. This is not a new vision – within sixty years of the hijra there were pagoda-style mosques in China. The early Muslims recognized it was not the shape of the minaret that mattered, but the understanding of the need to worship and be close to the One True God.

 Islam has been present in Britain since King Offa in the 8th Century. Islamic civilisation has made a huge contribution to the world we live in today. From medicine to mathematics, books to universities, religious freedom to political pluralism. As Muslims of 21st Century Britain, many of us have lost sight of the foundations of our present society. emel will remind us of our history and show how people are trying to contribute to building a better society today.

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