A “promising” and “beautiful” model who suffered from bouts of depression and self-harm took her own life fearing that her strict Muslim parents would force her into an arranged marriage, an inquest in Manchester has heard. Nadia Menaz, 24, had already married in an Islamic ceremony which was not recognized …Read More »
Britain’s far-right Mail on Sunday newspaper has today apologized after a story it ran in the summer said that “Muslim gangs” were responsible for an attack on an immigration enforcement van in East London, after a complaint by a member of the Muslim Council of Britain. The story, published in …Read More »
Police have warned of a “backlash” after it was revealed that Channel 4 will air a documentary about Britain’s Muslim gay scene.
It comes after well-known Pakistani-origin drag queen and activist Asif Quraishi – who goes by the stage name Asifa Lahore and who is featured in the documentary – said he was concerned about reaction to the show, which is titled ‘Muslim Drag Queens’.
Quraishi is one of the most prominent LGBT rights activists within the British Asian community and has previously received death threats for his work.
He said police have already put in place “measures” to ensure his safety once the show is broadcast next Monday.
‘Muslim Drag Queens’ is voiced by the legendary actor and gay rights activist Sir Ian McKellen who has praised Ms Lahore and other members of the “Gaysian” community for their bravery in telling their stories.
Sir Ian said the film was surprised by the scale of the prejudice against gay Asians that exists in Britain today.
“I’m ashamed how little I know about drag and trans and areas of being gay that I’ve not been part of,” he said. “It makes me begin to understand what it was like 20 or 30 years ago about simply being gay.”
Quraishi - who spoke about his struggles and triumphs in an interview with the UKAsian last year – has sparked outrage within Britain’s Muslim community for his outspoken views.
He has been particularly vocal against those who insist that homosexuality is against Islam.
'Muslim Drag Queens' is part of Channel 4's award-winning First Cut strand.
The film delves into the largely secretive gay Asian community in the UK through the eyes of three gay drag queens.
32-year-old Asif Quraishi is Britain’s first out and proud Muslim drag queen. Performing as his glamourous alter ego Asifa Lahore he has established himself as a leading figure within the Gaysian community, and as an activist for gay rights. Born to conservative British Pakistani parents, his choice to perform and out himself so publically has strained relations within his own family and triggered death threats against both himself and his parents. Unbowed, he uses his very visibility to campaign and challenge perceptions: “Up until now, people in my community have chosen to be invisible,” he explains. The epitome of glamour, Asifa appears on stage in sequins, ruffles, saris and cocktail dresses and in a calculated move to provoke reaction and debate – a burqa.
28-year-old British Pakistani Imran has been using drag for six years, creating a female alter ego Zareena Khan. Single and searching for love, he has profiles on a number of dating apps and social media sites, but has discovered he attracts more interest as Zareena. Men in both Britain and Pakistan respond to his online profiles – often married men who he believes find it more acceptable to sleep with him because he dresses as a woman.
Ibrahim, a 22 year-old Mauritian, is studying for a degree in the UK. He recently came out to his family who surprised him with their unconditional support. Since arriving in the UK he has immersed himself in the Gaysian scene and wants to start performing drag. Having discovered Asifa Lahore online he seeks out Asif for advice and support. Despite his passion to perform, Ibrahim sometimes struggles to reconcile drag with his devout religion.
'Muslim Drag Queens' is said to have been partly inspired by a Guardian documentary about the Muslim gay community by Kieren Yates.Read More »
A majority of voters in multi-cultural London would be comfortable with an ethnic minority mayor but a not-insignificant number of people would be “uncomfortable” if Boris Johnson’s replacement was a Muslim, a new survey has found. The poll, by YouGov, found that a third of Londoners would be uncomfortable with …Read More »
The controversial mayor of Tower Hamlets has been found guilty of corrupt and illegal practices by a judge, following an Election Court trial estimated to have cost the taxpayer more than £1 million. Lutfur Rahman – directly-elected mayor of Tower Hamlets in east London – was found “personally” guilty of …Read More »
One of the UK’s most senior Muslim politicians has said that certain values in Muslim communities in parts of Britain were “unacceptable in British society”. Culture Secretary Sajid Javid, who is of Pakistani origin, told the Daily Telegraph that many British Muslims were ashamed of the views held by certain …Read More »
A young Muslim girl from Mumbai has beaten out thousands of competitors in a contest that tests youngsters’ knowledge of the Bhagwad Gita, the Hindu holy book. Maryam Siddiqui, 12, beat out more than 4500 other students to win the first prize at the Gita Champions League contest which …Read More »
A prominent British Muslim leader has caused shock at an education conference after saying that it was acceptable for Muslim students to leave their classrooms in the middle of lessons to pray at set times. Dr Shuja Shafi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, also told the conference …Read More »
The British government says it has no intention of prohibiting the slaughter of animals without stunning despite an online petition demanding a ban receiving the support of more than 100,000 people. The petition, on the parliamentary petitions site, calls for the government to bring in legislation that will require the …Read More »
#Hypocrisy: £40K per year trainee lawyer attacks Muslim minds ‘Colonized’ by ‘Liberal, Western’ values
A trainee at one of the world’s biggest law firms has apologized after posting an online rant in which he criticized Muslims who denounced the terror attacks on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Aysh Chaudhry, a 22-year-old mergers and acquisitions specialist earning more than £40,000 at Clifford Chance in …Read More »