Friday, October 21, 2005

Profile: The Flying Imam

I was born in Heidelberg in Germany where I took up journalism whilst still at school and was also involved in numerous political activities. As the student protests swept Europe we held out in a school strike for a whole 3 days. After completing my school education I travelled a lot and encountered different cultures. In 1980 I converted to Islam after having read the Qur’an in translation and took a sabbatical year to teach myself Arabic. I left mainstream journalism and went into typesetting and reprographics, then publishing. I also got involved in translating.

On one of my trips to England I got married and have held a permanent residence in the UK for the last quarter century – too long, I know. I became actively involved in campaigning for Muslim schools and in 1989 founded the Islamic Party of Britain with like-minded people. I edited its magazine Common Sense for over a decade and still serve as its general secretary. Due to apathy amongst Muslims and a general unfavourable climate the Islamic Party is today more of a think tank than a fully fledged political party. Have a look at its archive and you will find a wealth of well researched materials there.

My professional work these days is mainly in translation. I hold a Diploma in Translation from the Chartered Institute of Linguists whose member I am. I also obtained a PhD in Applied Linguistics after going back to study part-time. I am also involved in various educational, publishing and public relations activities, and for many years I served part-time as Imam at Woodhill High Security Prison in Milton Keynes, where I live. In the early nineties I took up flying and gained my PPL and later an instrument rating. I have been awarded the Golden Wings by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), a body lobbying for the interests of private pilots. I fly my own AA5 Cheetah from a local airfield and am hence the “flying Imam”.

I used to keep fit by doing Kyokoshinkai Karate up till 5th Kyu, but then moved to the less aggressive Tai Chi Chuan, Jang style. I have published numerous books, booklets, pamphlets and audio lectures, and many of those are available free of charge from either my publishing site or the Islamic party’s website, of course, you are welcome to make a donation to support this work. I also regularly give lectures at events and debates organised by university societies and participate in radio and television programmes. If you want me to take part in an event you are organising, just send me a message.


Publications

A small selection of my publications are listed below and some of these are available on line:

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