Obreption sends his apologies. He’s had to attend a Bankers Bonus Beano in the south of
with Angela. Obreption can’t Tweet (yet), but managed to borrow a Blackberry and I was asked to lead a discussion on life events and the importance of religious specialists in monetising these very important events throughout the generations. France
About the author
Sheikh Omar is a Sunni Muslim who lives and works in the
North Wales area. He was born and brought up in Amlwch and now lives in Rhyl. His parents are from the Arabian Gulf and he studied in various theological colleges in the USA, and Kairouan. He specialises in designing questionnaires and government forms for the identification of future demographic needs. He has been on various Welsh language and Arabic language boards, and continues to develop his surveys in cities around the world. His post-doctoral thesis on ‘The Spiritual Supermarket and Cyber-religious Adherence’ was groundbreaking and has caused many religious organisations to rethink their policy regarding ‘belief’ without belonging, or as Sheikh Omar says: belonging without believing. Germany
Marhaba or Bore da as we say in Rhyl.
It’s a pleasure to discuss the B in the BMD above. Firstly, I should explain that as a practicing Sunni, we don’t go in for a lot of material culture and as a religion with around a billion of adherents we are quite low maintenance. You can check out the five pillars of Islam and you can get on with life without anyone, in theory, telling you what to do. This doesn’t work in practice as I’m sure you’re all used to having to deal with mad mullahs, fundamentalist fakirs, immoderate imams and very shifty sheikhs. Obreption has asked me to produce his A to Z of religion series (Sunni Islam from alif to yeh or as some Christians might say from Alpha to Omega).
The B section in BMD (births, marriages, deaths) is an important life event. Usually, of the three only the M is remembered by the focus of attention. The B concerns the parents and the D concerns the relict. Many ceremonies follow-on from the birth of a child. I don’t want to be side-tracked into some tosh about contraception, embryo research, genetics and when the soul actually becomes part of the ‘person’. In many societies, following the birth of a child certain religious rites will follow. These can range from whispering something into the child’s ear, giving the child a name, putting the child down for Eton (as many Muslims now do), and organising a circumcision usually for boys after a day or so depending on religion and custom. After that, many parents choose to have their child ritually blessed, washed, named, sanctified, and while these can be relatively cheap it can be good business for some religions - especially those with a high social status or a need to throw money about, and thus start the child on a path to total dependency on the bank and the fortune of mum and dad thereafter.
In Islam, there are many cultural variations on what happens when a child is born. In our case, my wife and I decided to keep up the tradition and for the boys we slaughtered 2 sheep and welcomed many people to our fabulous barbecue. For the girls, my wife agreed with me that 1 sheep would do. The community in Wales is very mixed; http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rhyl-Christian-Spiritualist-Church/273425685895
in Rhyl you can get an idea of our local Islamic centre (http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/rhyl/2011/01/14/former-shotton-lane-social-club-to-become-islamic-centre-91466-27983923/
and one or two problems we’ve had with yobs or ‘boyos’ as they are known locally. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_east/5165676.stm
We get a lot of day trippers from Liverpool and Manchester, and at times Rhyl can feel quite non-Welsh. Sometimes we Welsh people resent these English people coming and interfering with our culture and traditions.
My last study with Obreption was with a ground breaking study into diverse communities in Kendal, Cumbria. This really surprised the Anglicans as well as the Catholics regarding demographic shifts in Kendal. This caused a bit of a panic in the Church of England and they have now produced a new Service Order book in order to make baptism, or christening as some people would have it, accessible. Traditionally, 4 or 5 christenings would be done on a Sunday afternoon and this paid the heating bills. Now, like many Anglican services, you can only tell the child’s family because they’re wearing suits, have the school registration forms filled in, and desire to illustrate that the child from now on is a good member of a faith community even though the parents have no track record. Many religious specialists regard this as a nice little earner or great source of joy and fulfilment.
I am at a loss to find any relevance between ‘presenting’ the child for XYZ in any of the Carry On series. Carry On Matron has some funny moments regarding maternity, but nothing that springs to mind. I have pointed out a few links concerning local Muslim institutions, sociological studies in Anglesey, and some life events in the area. http://www.bangor.ac.uk/so/staff/feilzer_publications.php.en
If you need more information on life events, insert life events, postcode and your religion denomination and you might be surprised. You’ll certainly be out of pocket!