|There are no two ways about it. No point shying away from it. Sweeping it under the proverbial carpet won't work either: anything newsworthy one picks up to read, leaves one wishing they had looked the other way and just not seen it at all. Or, there's a sort of stench, a smell that won't go away, that lingers well after the pages are shut and the mouse has clicked its way out of the site, for a quick exit.
In contrast, how refreshing to pick up the fifth issue of Emel- Britains' first Muslim lifestyle magazine. What was meant to be a glance at the time, a one minute speed read whilst waiting at the microwave, turned into a good half an hour hault at the arresting headings, pictures and topics which are covered in this May/June issue. By no means does Emel evade the problems, as there are plenty of timely pieces relevant to people of all interests. From the editorial exploring what 'Britishness' really means, to the topics raised by Trevor Philips, chair of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), about 'Multiculturalism', the articles follow initiatives and individuals in a number of disciplines, including the arts, science and travel.
Thankfully, there is a fragrance of roses throughout this issue of Emel too. Roses and how to grow them, roses and their history, roses on your clothes, bedding and fine bone china mugs. Revealing the origin of the rose and marrying that to the nostalgic associations it has in England is a tall task, and one that's done with subtlety and grace.
This issue is like sorely needed smelling salt, to bring one round to reminders of human goodness in the story of Islamic Relief's growth, to wake one up to hope embodied in the new generation, and feel revived in the company of the author Harun Yahya, contemplating on Mount Nur.
If you haven't subscribed yet, it's easy to do so and you automatically enter a competition in which the prize is an Umrah trip/visit to Makkah. Alternatively Emel is on sale in Borders and Muslim bookshops.
Emel can be purchased on line via the Emel Magazine website at £4.50/issue