Tahmena Bokhari in Asian News Media Speaking Out for Arts in the Muslim World


Mrs Pakistan World 2010, Tahmena Bokhari will be joining delegates in London next week to encourage Muslims to reclaim their artistic and cultural heritage.
Children in certain Muslim homes are increasingly discouraged from participating in drama, art and music and the conference organised by British Muslims for Secular Democracy (bmsd) and supported by the British Council will address this problem and the consequences.

The 'Free Muslims: Autonomy and Creativity' challenges those who seek to close down the Muslim mind by claiming Islam forbids artistic expression, leisure and cultural activities.

Ms Bokhari’s has a personal passion for the arts, having an interest in photography, fashion design, painting and writing, she firmly believes that creative outlets are a necessary part of a healthy life.

She has also used art in providing forms of therapy as a social worker with her clients and children in countries including Pakistan and Cambodia.

Said Ms Bokhari: "A sign of healthy children and communities around the world is access to positive outlets for emotional and physical energy, such as the creative arts including poetry, literature, painting, dance, music and so on.

"Creativity is considered to be a divine blessing in Islam. Islam furnishes us with numerous examples of Muslim creativity, from calligraphy in the Golden Age to Sami Yusuf’s debut album ‘al-Mu’allim’.

"We must ensure fourteen hundred years of Islamic contributions to art, culture, literature, and history are not pushed aside in favour of a hardline interpretation of the Muslim faith."

The conference is taking place at the SOAS Brunei Gallery in central London on 16 February 2010 from 10am to 2pm.

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