Who'd have guessed that 2013 would be the year in which Aaron Sorkin would come to the rescue of Islam? To clarify: the creator of The West Wing hasn't converted and become a Muslim. He probably doesn't have a clue how significant his (inadvertent) contribution has been to the struggle against Islamophobia...
Before we blame radical Islam for terrorism and loss of freedom - consider that our Security Services blame our foreign policy, not any religion, for acts of terrorism. Radical Islam is a bastardisation of true, peaceful Islam. And the effect on our social fabric of continually scapegoating Muslims for our own aggression abroad is painful, and breeds yet more jihadists.
The common theological heritage and the mutual reverence of Jesus and his mother by both Muslims and Christians has sadly, become sullied throughout history as Islam and Christianity are often portrayed as implacable enemies, embroiled in conflict. The reality is, despite the troubled history. there have been epochs where Christians and Muslim have co-existed in peace.
If they are going to bow to every ridiculous religious whim, why not go the whole hog and have men enter through the front doors and women shuffle in with their heads bowed through the delivery hatch wearing an M&S blackout curtain for full compliance?
Yesterday, Abbas Khan's funeral was attended by thousands of Muslims, uniting as one to celebrate his life and in solidarity with the family. Gathering together in such a large number shows what a profound effect his death has had on the community...
Is gender equality an issue that can be assigned to the conventional notions of left and right? Undoubtedly, it stretches across the political pantheon. But more importantly - is anti-Islamism now a stance the left and right can unite over? This is a discussion that needs to take place outside Westminster.
No one has the right to refuse to help or serve someone because their religion denotes what others should put in their shopping basket, trolley or mouth. A Marks & Spencer food hall is not a place to breed religious or racial intolerance.
The making of The Cruel Cut documentary was one of the most challenging tasks I've ever undertaken in my anti-FGM campaigning. My aim has always been to teach the British public the effects of FGM, and how we should all make sure we protect our girls from this vile practice. I feel we achieved that and much more. But the response from the less well-intentioned viewers was to say, 'this is a Muslim issue.' It made me think. Had my message implied that FGM was purely an Islamic affair?
With the issue of gender segregation in the media, attacks on those opposing this practice have been epitomised on this website by Hilary Aked, who ignores the broad mass of public opinion that refused to accept guidance excusing discrimination.
Anjum Chaudary is a radical ideologue who professes to interpret Islam yet like most radicals he has never actually studied religion. He dresses in a beard and Islamic garb to give the impression that he is a cleric but he is nothing but a masterly self-publicist, preaching a distorted message of hate and violence.
Instead of focusing on whether Islam was at fault, it is more helpful to look at the specific ideology at play...
Banning Christmas is a modern day myth perpetuated by those who have an axe to grind about 'Muslims' (it apparently 'offends' Muslims), have a similar axe to grind about our 'politically correct gone mad' culture (you know that 'political correctness' also doesn't exist, don't you?).
Here's a snapshot of the streets of Jakarta, on what could be any day of the week: 4 wheeled traffic, a fair few of which are covered in English Premier League football club stickers, crawling... Jams punctuated with swarms of buzzing motor scooters, weaving and snaking through every gap.
People want to try something new and when it comes to games such as Call of Duty or Medal of Honor, quite frankly, people are just bored of playing missions about Americans braver than Chuck Norris saving the world within six hours of gameplay.
While important, gender segregation on British campuses, while important, has been poorly debated on. There has been far less discussion, particularly from female viewpoints, on the values of choice, liberty, religious identity and legitimate boundaries of self-expression.
I recognize the horrible irony of saying this as a white, cis, able-bodied woman, but feminist spaces need to prioritise the platforms of marginalised voices; poor women, LGBT+ women, disabled women, women of colour, and so on.