Archive for the ‘Kath’s Classroom’ Category

Muhammad (pbuh) Speech Contest. Raising my voice.

27 Oct

It all started quietly enough.

It was a Sunday morning. My phone rang. It was Bilal Mahmood, from the National  Outreach Team of the  Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK, who works hard  to educate the public about what Islam is and what it most definitely isn’t.

“Hello, Katherine, I hope you are well.” I replied that I was ok and waiting to hear what activities were planned.

“There’s a speech contest about the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and I hope you will take part, just a short speech.”

“All right, I can do that but just something simple”.

So that’s how I found myself filming two short speeches, thinking of what to say as I went so as to try to be natural , after checking my clothes and the background were suitable.

I took part in the contest as I heard that there are dark forces trying to stir up more trouble against Muslims, where a religion that believes strongly in living in peace is not allowed to have a moment’s peace. And  there is clearly a general misunderstanding about Islamic beliefs and teachings, as I found out when I went to events as a guest at the Baitul Futuh Mosque and asked a lot of questions. The media seem to have no interest in dispelling the wrong ideas the public have.

My stand is for religious freedom. I believe taking a stand when possible is essential when there is a real threat. As a Catholic, I am aware of times when Catholics have been and still are persecuted around the world, where wearing a cross or talking about religious beliefs is forbidden even in some UK workplaces.

Having  sent the speeches, they were duly posted on Twitter  and received a number of likes, retweets and words of praise, all very gratifying and I felt I had reached my aim of showing solidarity.

Imagine my great surprise and a feeling of deep respect when my phone rang last Friday. It was Bilal to inform me that one of my speeches had been singled out and my name given in the sermon  by His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, at Friday prayers, a sermon heard by millions around the world, given in Urdu and translated into many languages.

Here is the reference on Twitter.

What an honour for our Christian sister that Head & Khalifa of the Worldwide Muslim Community mentioned this speech of hers in today. We’re humbled by the fact that beloved Hazoor mentioned the International today.

I am glad that I took part in the speech contest about the life of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It is open to all who wish to take part Muslim and non Muslim, religious and non religious as the contest encourages all to take a closer look at the life of the prophet, what sort of man he was and his teachings which are intended to promote peace and not the divisions that some are working to create.

*pbuh = peace be upon him which is a title of recognition of his work as a prophet.


Even in London, the sunsets look tropical and the planets are visible.

10 Apr

Of course, it helps to have a window that faces west.

And it helps to have the time to stand and stare.

Sunsets are a daily event to enjoy, especially when there are plenty of clouds to refract and reflect the light.

It is said that angels gather at sunset. I usually see more dragons than angels wings.

And then, from twilight on , a range of planets can be seen alone or with others.

So instead of dulling the senses with tv, take a look at the sky.




Expert Patient Programme a life saver

07 Apr

So there I was with a series of long term conditions. What to do?

Wait it out? Wait for each hospital appointment for affirmation that I had an identity ?

Worry about the future ? Feel anxious every time the w word or the b word were mentioned on the radio?

Then lo and behold , a nice volunteer at the Job Centre suggested a course.

A course? I love learning and keeping my mind active. What will I be learning?

A free course for people with long term conditions.

The Expert Patient Programme.

So I sent an email and received a phone call from a nice lady named Jemma to talk over  whether the course would meet my needs.

I decided it would and it did. By jove it did.

From the friendly welcome by the tutors , the kindness of fellow students, the laughter at the break-

our parties in the kitchen as we called them- the action plan for each week’s homework,

the pride in achievement, the reunions.

I loved it so much I took part in a series of 3 videos to talk about how good Expert Patient Programme  is.

And that was fun too with Jemma and Loren and post production meeting and emails all keeping me active in the community which is the most important part of a sick person’s life.

The message- don’t sit back, grab those opprtunities as they appear .

Knowledge is power.



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