A Contemporary Caliphate

It was a BBC Asian Network documentary by Catrin Nye – @CatrinNye and Athar Ahmad – @AtharAAhmad entitled: Caliphate? What an Islamic state means to British Muslims that sparked this blog post, A Contemporary Caliphate. Seven British Muslims of different sects debated on air whether a Caliphate is needed in the twenty-first century – also, it just so happens that I’m currently reading T. E. Lawrence’s “Seven Pillars of Wisdom.” BTW, I agreed with Mina Topia’s opinion!

You should be able to hear it here: Islamic State: Young British Muslims debate Caliphate

The Caliphate of the Turkish Ottoman Empire ended in 1922 with the last Sultan and Caliph, Mehmed VI, being exiled to Malta. And thus the Republic of Turkey was born! Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founding father of modern day Turkey, attempted to Europeanise Turkey! He: liberated Turkey after world war one. founded the Independent Republic replacing Sultans and Monarchy. secularized the overall state. created a modern bureaucracy. created a modern secular education system and abolished non-governmental educational institutions. introduced the Latin alphabet (from Arabic). created a base for modern industry. gave women the right to vote. banned the Fez and set up many governmental institutions. To say that he was totally-fucking-awesome is an understatement. I love Atatürk’s motto, “peace at home, peace in the world.” I am a Kemalist.

The Islamic State (IS), formerly known as: the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), formerly known as: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s homies, formerly known as: Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi’s Bitches, formerly known as: al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), are a terrorist group of barbaric murdering and raping bastards. They will fail in their quest to set-up a Caliphate because of: modern world thinking. religious differences within Islam. oil. And, national sovereignty – IS are living in an historically obsessed, idealistic dream world.

Muslims in Whitechapel, East London

Muslim ladies in Whitechapel, East London – Via: Mehdi Hasan: We Mustn’t Allow Muslims in Public Life to be Silenced

Nuns from St Joseph's Convent, Leeds. Photograph: Marcin Mazur CCN

Nuns from St Joseph’s Convent, Leeds. Photograph: Marcin Mazur CCN – Via: Young nuns go for life with the vow factor – The Guardian

If I was to walk down the high street of our small Berkshire village, here in the U.K., and bump into a Muslim woman wearing a hijab (a veil/headscarf that covers the head and chest), or a Catholic nun in traditional habit, I would smile and nod and think kindly of their religious commitment. However, should I be walking through the beautiful streets of Üsküdar (on the Anatolian side of the Bosporus and my wife’s home town in Istanbul, Turkey), where most woman are wearing at least a headscarf, I would be thinking, “these women are oppressed.” …Maybe I’m wrong to be thinking like that? But it seems like Atatürk’s vision of the future, a secular modern Turkey, is slipping, sliding back into the past?

I’m a Feminist – yeah, guys can be feminists too you know! In fact, I’d say all blokes should be feminists. A male feminist can be a lot like a reformed smoker – FERVENT (maybe that should be: religious – ha ha) ‘holier-than-thou,’ hypocritically virtuous! And then again, maybe sex gets in the way, or we realise that people are not equal in many ways and that it’s not just about gender! Maybe, actually, I’m a Humanist? Anyway, I believe that everyone should be treated equally. So what pisses me off is, when I see a woman who’s wrapped up like an Eskimo, walking behind her husband who’s dressed like a fucking gigolo – where’s the equality in that? – “It’s time to burn the headscarf” quoted from: Fashion, Politics and a Turkish Rebellion.

Turkey’s president: Erdogan on top | The Economist

Turkey’s president Erdogan on top – Erdogan is the real New Sultan/Caliph – Via: It would be better for Turkey if the presidency remained mainly ceremonial – The Economist

It seems to me that the real Contemporary Caliphate is Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s vision of Turkey? And that the Muslim Brotherhood is the inspiration and driving force. However, the Muslim Brotherhood has been outlawed in Egypt – and that’s my point really, it’s that old Shia Vs. Sunni nut again!

I’m an Atheist. In what holy scripture, written by God, does it say that it’s okay to kill, especially children? Surely humanity itself is our leading source of morality; at what point in our world’s history has God ever intervened (to stop any slaughter)?

It’s time for peace in our time.

Why do only 17% of clients return to salons regularly

Bruno's book of haircutting

PhorestSalonSoftware – @thephorestword tweeted during #hairhour:

Well it really is a staggering statistic – I replied listening to my gut feeling, “Quality of work?” And when I say quality of work, I’m thinking; why would a client who’s happy with her haircut want to change her hairstylist?

Jump back in time to the mid to late 1970s, I was working at Ricci Burns in the King’s Road, Chelsea, London and I thought that hairdressers in the provinces (everywhere outside London) were rubbish! Sounds very snobby, judgemental and biased – I know, but it was born out of some personal experience. My clients demanded excellence, their careers often revolved around their appearance, an inferior, sloppy hairdo would not have been accepted. On the other hand, the demand for a high quality hairdo in the provinces didn’t appear to be there; dare I say that clients in the provinces (the general public) wouldn’t’ve even recognised a good haircut in 1976 – yeah, I know that’s a massive generalisation, but what I’m talking about is a demand that drives hairdressing standards.

For me, this whole journey starts in the period between 1970 and the late 1980s, maybe it was when Vidal Sassoon created his line of hair-care products in the early 1970s? Most London salons had their own line of ‘self’ branded hair-care products for sale, but I think Vidal Sassoon was the first to go into major production (with Helen of Troy Corporation), selling in the USA and Europe in 1980. This was the beginning of celebrity hairdresser branded hair-care and beauty products. John Frieda, another big name in the UK, followed suit in the late 1980s. Today there are a plethora manufactured by global beauty companies like: Procter & Gamble (Vidal Sassoon), L’Oréal (Jean-Louis David), Estée Lauder (Bobbi Brown – Makeup Artist) and Unilever (Tigi for hair salons, Toni & Guy)…

Then there was Toni & Guy who franchised their business in the late 1980s – obviously they had their own branded hair-care products! In my view, it was Toni & Guy who not only improved hairdressing standards in the provinces, but also pushed up the price of hairdressing, and they increased competition on the high street. I won’t talk about Unisex (1960s), but that too plays a part.

Over the last five years or so we’ve seen the massive rise of social media which has had a profound impact on television, celebrity culture, mainstream journalism and of course the general public. The image of the self, including the selfie and user-generated photos, take on a new meaning and importance – everyone and anyone can suddenly become a celebrity by going ‘viral’! The public demand for high quality hairdressing hasn’t only arrived, but it may have exceeded the supply! Hence, “Only 17% of clients returned to the salons more than twice.” …The general public aren’t getting the celebrity service they now demand, so they are looking elsewhere for better. They are salon hopping! Actually, they should be complaining.

There is another explanation though:

Firstly, I’m always very suspicious about surveys and survey results & analysis. Phorest, who conducted the survey and who asked the question, are a salon software business – so they do have a vested interest and they will have an angle! I’ve a strong feeling they will say that if you use the Phorest Salon Software, you will be able to identify what’s going wrong and grow your business?

With greater competition on the High Street, salon owners are under more pressure to maximise their income from floor space, so they are renting out chairs to freelance hairstylists, therefore these salons may only be able to accommodate a ‘walk in off the street’ clientèle? …Walk-in clients are not usually regular and loyal. It all depends on the freelance to experienced staff member ratio.

And don’t forget the old adage, “a hairdressing salon is only as good as its worst stylist!”

Cover Image: Bruno’s book of haircutting (Couper les cheveux soi-même) by Bruno Pittini. Copyright & published 1976, this edition by Sphere Books 1979 – My copy is the last one left (I think). The book is a step-by-step guide to cutting your own hair, so, if you’re tired of expensive visits to the hairdresser…

Bruno Pittini (deceased) and I did a couple of fashion shows together in Paris in 1980/81.