About

This is the blog of Matthew Smith, also known as Yusuf, a convert to Islam who lives in New Malden, in south London or Surrey depending on your point of view. I’m 30 (as of January 2007) and converted to Islam in the summer of 1998. At the moment, I live at home with my parents. I mostly drive trucks and vans, although I really want to get out of that.

My interests, besides religion, are computing, particularly programming with the Qt programming toolkit, which is particularly “at home” on Unix but also works on Windows and Mac and on embedded devices. I’m the author of QTM, a desktop content management client which can post entries to websites which use Movable Type, WordPress and other systems which support the same interfaces. You can read more about that on my QTM web page. I also enjoy cycling and I spend a lot of time in London, particularly Foyle’s bookshop.

I’m strictly Sunni, that is to say, pro-madhhab (Maliki in my case) and anti “salafi”, although I can get on with “salafis” over a curry in Tooting. But I prefer Moroccan food. My favourite restaurant is the Moroccan Tagine, in Golborne Road (London W10). I also like Al-Mirage (Indian) in Tooting and Abu Zaad (Syrian) on Uxbridge Road (Shepherds Bush).

Colophon

This blog uses WordPress, which I have migrated back to after several years of using Movable Type (which I still use to run one other blog). The theme is Amazing Grace by Vladimir Prelovac, with the stock images replaced with some taken by me. If you really want to use my variant of the theme, you can check it out of this Git repository (Git is a source code management system; you can find it here). The image you see above may be one of:

  • A bridge over the River Arun at Stopham, West Sussex, or at Pulborough, West Sussex
  • Painted shops in North Laine, Brighton, Sussex
  • Misty countryside north of Lewes, East Sussex
  • A swan in the River Ouse at Lewes, East Sussex, converted into black and white with the Bibble raw conversion software
  • Snowy trees in February 2009 in New Malden, Surrey (my home town)
  • Sunset over the ruined West Pier in Brighton, Sussex
  • A coffee kiosk during the snow of February 2009, in Kingston on Thames, Surrey
  • A boat on the River Thames between Kingston and Richmond on Thames, Surrey
  • A view of Brighton from the Devil’s Dyke
  • Scenery around Ironbridge, Shropshire (on the south bank of the Severn), or the bridge itself and the village to its north
  • Somebody (!) drinking an expensive caffe latte in an organic café in Brighton

In response to complaints ([1], [2]) that WordPress users use plugins without giving due credit or saying thank you, here is a list of plugins I use on this blog, some of which have made my transition from Movable Type much easier and some of which have contributed to its general enrichment. Much appreciation to the authors:

  • Broken Link Checker by Janis Elsts
  • DoFollow by Denis de Bernardy: gets rid of the “nofollow” tag on links, so that legitimate sites are not denied search engine ratings
  • Possibly Related Recent Posts by Matt Martz
  • Sanitize permalink with undescores by Daniele Simonin - This allowed me to keep continuity with my old site by keeping most of my permalinks
  • Search Everything by Dan Cameron - Allows you to search comments, not just post content
  • Text Control by Jeff Minard - Much of my content, including this page, are formatted with Markdown, as was the case when I used MT; Markdown is a simplified formatting code which lets you use stars or underscores to give emphasis, and reduces the risk of leaving links incomplete. Text Control lets you use Markdown or any other simplified formatting code
  • Twitter Tools by Alex King - This is what’s behind the “IJ Tweets” panel on the left of the main page.
  • Brian’s Latest Comment - Displays recent comments grouped by the post they appear on
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  • Assalamu ‘Alaykum, comment about Ibrahim Abdul Bello from Nigeria, was it a scam? Bcs I have received a similar mail…

    Assalamu ‘Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu…

    Alhamdulillah…

    My name is Ali Abdullah Al Mawruri from Spain…I have received a mail from Ibrahim Abdul Bello (Nigeria) a week ago. I have been searching on google more info about Mov for Orphans from Nigeria and this ”Ibrahim…” Then I asked on the newspaper Africa Time, a blog on WordPress.com and I am hoping the response…I read a comment on http://ginnysthoughts.wordpress.com/2009/09/10/interesting-email-in-my-inbox/ and you appeared there…Sorry for my mail, but if you received that mail on the Holy month of Ramadan I have received one week ago and it is hard when a person defends Orphans but I doubt bcs the start is as a muslim, but I don’t know…I seem doubts…

    Ok, Insha Allah I wait your response to know if it is scam or true…

    I am tired of spam mails from Nigeria, Bourkina…with Bank of Africa or the lottery, then I didn’t trust…But wa Allahu ‘Alim…

    Thanks so much, Shukran wa Jazak Allah Khairan…Fi Aman Allah…Assalamu ‘Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu…

  • Abdul Latif

    as sallamu alaikum wa rahmatullah.

    Inshaa Allah you are well and in the best of states. May Allah increase you in all that is good in this life and the next.

    Sidi, Can you post this write up on SeekersGuidance by Sidi Khurram Zaman on your blog?

    http://allahcentric.wordpress.com/2010/09/23/seekersguidance-fulfilling-a-vital-role-in-our-community-through-unique-learning-opportunities/#comments

  • Eradicating Islamophobia : Islam the Religion of Peace and Help for Humanity http://www.islamicconference.org/2010/11/04/eradicating-islamophia-join-us/ January 14-15 Atlanta Ga, early bird registration now, powerful speakers, diverse audience

  • Sarah

    Salamu Alaykum

    Interesting blog, stumbled into it somehow after a very long twist…. Clicked on youtube to a lecture by Anwar Al Awlaki, realised I already heard that one, looked on the right side and saw something about a Salafi refutation of Anwar, got bored, looked on the right and saw something about Dawud Adib, listened to the short lecture and said ‘Well who one earth is this quacker….’ and wound up here…

    Nice blog though, I’ll keep reading….

    wasalam

  • What you don’t explain, Matthew, is why you are so interested in disability issues. Knowing that would be really interesting and helpful - especially as we live in the same town!

  • Hi Jane,

    The reasons go back a long way - I’ve had friends online who are disabled (one who is blind, in particular) going back almost as long as I’ve had internet access. I really got into it after the story of Lynn Gilderdale had hit the news in early 2010, and that led me to form friendships with people in the ME community and gradually learned about wider issues about chronic illness and the way people with these conditions are treated in the health system.

    However, I also have Asperger’s syndrome and I’m a survivor of the special education system in the UK (my school was the focus of a recent police investigation and some media interests). My problems weren’t thought of as a disability in the 80s, however - I was considered a naughty kid (or “little shit” as they called me at the special school) who needed kicking into line. That really explains why I’ve got strong views on this aspect of education and that pre-dates my interest in disability per se.

  • OK, got it - I wondered whether you might have Asperger’s. My elder son has Asperger’s and I know a number of children and adults on the autistic spectrum. However, both my sons benefited from being educated away from the mainstream, so I have mixed feelings about the whole issue of inclusion; neither son would have survived in large, mainstream secondary schools!

    Thank you for explaining :)

  • Lamia

    Matthew also believes that the threshold for sexual activity is 9 for girls and 12 for boys. Not surprisingly he also doesn’t believe that Muslims are bound by secular law.

    http://www.blogistan.co.uk/blog/mt.php/2013/11/24/mehdi-hasans-phoney-apologetics

    Nice chap, isn’t he?

  • Lamia

    You are a foul apologist for paedophilia, Matthew. I hope the police in New Malden are keeping an eye you.

  • Jack

    You are a filthy pig

  • Jack

    Man the government of the UK needs to start putting the muslims in camps. Just get rid of all the followers of the mass murdering, pedophile, rapist, pilager and plagiarist Mohammad (may he burn in hell for eternity). May God bless Bashar Al Assad for taking out 120,000 of the worthless trash

  • nik

    Hi. I read your article about the ryes. Very interesting. I was Brought to the Ryes school in 2007 , when you wrote that Article and I really feel what you re talking about. I stopped working there after a half year, exactly of the one reason you gave. Either you care for the ones , or you do so for the others. However. I worked at the pump farm and ended up one day running into the managers office with the same opininion on my lips. Then I left.

    Thanks for the essay.

  • Robert Munyui Kamunyu

    FG

    FGM,PROSTITUTION ON WOMANHOOD -

    BUTCHERS OF WOMANHOOD

    When God told Abraham to sign the covenant of the flesh, he circumcised all the male children and he was

    circumcised. GENESIS 17: 1-27 When God told Moses that the Children of Israel shall not circumcise their

    girls, the message was given in a spiritual language and bore two warnings. The

    Israelis parent shall not sexually mutilate their daughters and fathers were

    commanded not have carnal knowledge (incest) of their daughters making them

    prostitutes. The evil cutting is done in honor of the dead. The covenant of the flesh for a man child is with ease to behold with no ill feelings or regrets with no medication required afterwards. Fgm is a satanic sacrifice to a woman of secrecy with miseries and constrains of disgrace to behold accompanied by many cases of traumatic child delivery requiring medication.

    Girls who face the evil cut become prostitutes on alter of satan sadly without their consent

    which pollutes the land.

    Leviticus 19:28-29.
    Israelis girl child remained a land fenced, a spring shut up and a blessed fountain sealed in divine state.

    Song of Solomon 4:12, Proverbs 5:18-19.

    FGM makes a woman a land without fence and a well without a cover. Song of Solomon 4:12

    They view God at fault for providing the girl child with an active sexual organ a source of immorality . The fleshy coals are provided for marriage. 1Corithians7: 9 .

  • rsba

    Assalamu alaikum, Yusuf. I am puzzled as to why someone who purports to write from a Muslim perspective would describe himself as “anti-Salafi”. If that truly is the case, you are hardly any better than the Islamophobes whom you write about.