Archive for April, 2007

Nostalgia: M. A. S. K.

Below is the introduction from an 80s cartoon I grew up watching. M. A. S. K. or Mobile Armored Strike Kommand, a classic 80s marketing strategy, which took a line of toys and turned them into a cartoon. MASK was basically transforming vehicles, an idea found in The Transformers, but placed humans in charge of them.

And, as with all those 80s cartoons, MASK — led by Matt Tracker — was a group dedicated to fighting evil forces. In this case it was VENOM (Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem), led by Miles Mayhem (couldn’t be clearer could it?).


Onion domes

The NYT has a story on the conversion of a disused church into a mosque in a small Lancashire town. The reader can make up her own mind about the reporting and the social and cultural impact this mosque might have.

I am more interested in the end of the article. Sheraz Arshad, who had led the campaign to build a mosque in the town, says of the proposed changes to the church:

“We don’t want a dome […] That looks pretty in Egypt and Turkey, but in a market town in England it looks like a big onion. There will be no external call to prayer. What matters is what goes on inside.”

At last, a Muslim (other than me) who doesn’t want a dome on a mosque where there is no need for one.

I am a fan of mosques in Britain not looking like something from Cairo or Lahore. Rather, Muslims could engage in some form of cultural assimilation (I use that word deliberately) through the architecture of mosques. This includes looking at building materials used in mosque building projects. No more of the 1980s red-brick municipal office look (complete with green dome and gold trimmings), please! Other Muslims have been doing engaging in so for generations. No reason why we in Britain cannot. But this will mean overcoming both the internalisaiton of certain ‘orientalist’ themes, and the arrogance of certain particularist traditions that dominate British Islam.

Blogging is for Idiots


Happier Days at Anfield

World Cup Cricket: England Make It Difficult, Australia… are just Australia

A poor England beat Ireland by 48 runs on Saturday. Colligwood top scored with 90 and Pieterson (48) and Flintoff (43) hit decent enough figures. The real problem for England is that despite dominating the game, they made very hard work of the victory. Sri Lanka are up next and I don’t think England can afford to be so inept at killing the game off. Unfortunately, I think this is exactly England’s major problem. They do not have bowlers who can gut teams; Pakistan, putting aside all their off-pitch problems, also suffered from this deficiency. We’ll see if deeds can match the rhetoric.

Australia confirmed their status as red-hot tournament favourites by destroying India’s conquerors Bangladesh. In a rain affected match, both teams had 22 overs to bat. Bangladesh were reduced to 104/6 in their 22, with Glenn McGrath becoming the leading wicket taker in World Cup history. McGrath’s impending retirement will be a blow, not just to Australian cricket, but to world cricket. He is an outstanding player. Australia’s batsment, meanwhile, reached the target without even losing a wicket.

Later today the Windies could be all but knocked out of the tournament if they fail to beat Sri Lanka. The Lankans are most likely to be the favourite ‘darkhorse’ and only narrowly lost to South Africa in their opening Super 8 game.


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