There are 646 MPs. Each of them represents about 70,000 people. But if you thought all you had to do for your MP was go and vote once every four or five years, you were wrong. It turns out you're having to fork out for MPs' electricity and water bills, digital TV subscriptions, new kitchens and much more (just flick through a John Lewis catalogue).
8 – Confirmed media stereotypes
As if Muslims with bushy beards weren’t having a bad time already, what with stereotypes of Muslims terrorists in Hollywood films and Western newspapers. Along comes the biggest terrorist attack in America and its Muslims who are responsible. Not only that, but a Muslim in a big beard and turban praised those who carried out 9/11 and labelled them as martyrs. This totally contradicts Quran and Sunnah and can lead to kufr. To make matters worse, every other word in his speeches was Allah, Quran or Jihad. Not only did Muslims become synonymous with terrorism but so did Islam.
7 – Usurped authority
Khalid bin Waleed (radhi'allahu anhu) was one of the greatest generals EVER! Before he converted to Islam he fought against Muslims. However, after becoming Muslim he fought courageously and spread Islam to Iraq and Syria.
Khalid (r.a.) commanded Muslim armies in wars against two massive superpowers â€“ the Persians and the Byzantines.
Whilst taking Iraq from the Persians, Khalid (r.a) killed a Persian general in a one-on-one fight. He also fought and killed a man who the Persians thought had the strength of â€˜a thousand menâ€™.
Khalid (r.a.) told his representatives in Iraq to be good and kind to the Iraqis. The Iraqis became fond of the Muslims because they werenâ€™t used to justice and kindness from the Persians. They welcomed Muslims as liberators.
We love a good argument. We can debate the correct length of a beard with the best of them. We can rip into each other over whether Muslims are allowed to vote. We will accuse fellow Muslims of committing shirk and bid'ah and being kafir. We can tear ourselves apart over whether it's OK to celebrate Milad. Argument is keeping us in a perpetual fight with each other.
But nothing unites Muslims like a good conspiracy theory. The crazier the better. At the first mention of Freemasons we'll put aside differences in aqidah. We'll forget about haazir or naazir at the first hint of a subliminal message. As long as something is thrown in about how this was all foretold in the Quran and Hadith, we'll hear you out.
When Islam faced a massive attack from Crusader Europe, one man united the Muslims and led them to victory over the enemy. Salahuddin Ayubi rescued Jerusalem from the Crusaders and fought off one of the most menacing enemies that Muslims have ever faced.
Jerusalem was important to the Muslims because it contained the Dome of Rock, where Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) ascended to heaven, and the Masjid al Aqsa. Christians also valued Jerusalem as it contained the church of Jesusâ€™ tomb.
In 1095 the Pope urged the Christians to unite and take Jerusalem. Four years later, Christian forces captured Jerusalem and slaughtered Muslims in the process.
Anti-Muslim prejudice is rising across Europe. There are calls for bans on Muslim immigration, bans on the construction of mosques and a ban on women wearing the veil. France has already barred Muslim girls from wearing the hijab in school and Switzerland has banned the construction of minarets.
In Britain, the British National Party is gaining greater prominence. It calls Islam a â€œwicked and vicious faithâ€ and its leader, Nick Griffin, is set to become an MP in the next general election.
What does all this mean for the millions of Muslims in Britain and Europe. Should we be scared for our future in Britain and Europe? Naheem Zaffar says YES. He argues that Europe is on the brink of repeating the mistakes of history by allowing far-right parties to gain power. Irfan Jalil says NO. He argues that the far-right can only gain power if we fail to engage politically.
By Irfan Jalil
This is an online exclusive article added to the website for Issue 14.
From the death of Jesus and World War I to the death of Tupac and 9/11, Jews get the blame for anything that goes wrong and everything that is bad. It's as if they control the world and whatever they say goes. All perfectly plausible you might think. But this idea that a group of people secretly plot major events and manipulate political happenings from behind the scenes is called a conspiracy theory.
By Irfan Jalil
Islamic finance is a system of monetary trade based on the Islamic principles and jurisprudence. It seeks to create wealth based on partnership and fairness with risks and profits being shared.
Islamic finance, believe it or not, is worth Â£250bn worldwide. So, clearly, there's a buck to be made. And it's not just about mortgages â€“ multi-million pound global businesses based in Muslim countries increasingly want to base their trade on Islamic principles. Recently, two Kuwaiti companies bought Aston Martin using Sharia-compliant finance.
By Irfan Jalil
For the past year and a bit the world has been going through a financial crisis. People have been unable to pay back debts that they owed and now there is less money going around in the world economy. Businesses are going bust. Prices are getting higher and higher. Banks are running out of money and people are losing their jobs. This is leading to a global economic meltdown.
By Irfan Jalil
So your mum's on your back telling you to get hitched and move out. But all your cousins are married and you were never any good with meeting girls at college. What does a good Muslim boy or girl like you do? You get on-line and search for an e-bride or e-husband!