Obituary: Sheikh Mohamed Mutwali Sharawi

EGYPT'S BEST-KNOWN Islamic cleric, Sheikh Mohamed Mutwali Sharawi, got his chance of stardom at the age of 59, in the last year of President Nasser's rule, when he took part in the country's first ever Islamic television religious discussion programme. Nour ala Nour ("Light upon Light") was presented by Ahmad Farrag, a handsome but failed cinema actor who had gone on to make a career in religious programmes. Within a few years Sharawi had upstaged Farrag and become the Billy Graham of the Islamic world to an estimated 70 million Arabic-speaking viewers.

Police intervene in battle of `offensive' china pigs

POLICE are understood to have confiscated a collection of porcelain pigs from the front window of a woman's house in the same road as Leicester's main mosque following a complaint from local Muslims that the display was offensive.

Letter: Geriatric classics

Letter: Geriatric classics

Book review: The guns which shoot life

The Human Sexes: A Natural History of Man and Woman by Desmond Morris, Network pounds 17.99

Faith & Reason: Do not mock the Sharia as barbaric

Are Western objections to the punishment of two British nurses under Islamic law merely cultural? asks Shabbir Akhtar. Or do they have a more profound basis?

Letter: Earth mother

Your leading article ignores a significant hazard in moves to declare the Virgin Mary "co-redemptor" ("Mary, Mary, once contrary", August 24) .

WORDS OF THE WEEK; Answers to the meaning of creation

Five leading writers from a variety of religious and cultural backgrounds, including Fay Weldon, right, answer questions of faith in a series of Prom interval talks

Letter: Godless

Sir: The Independent's example of Arabic script "from the Koran" is in danger of causing as much offence to Muslims as the Nike logo ("Nike to trash trainers that offended Islam", 25 June), for the crucial words "but God" have been omitted.

Leeds Muslims riot over `burnt Koran' video

A Hindu video shop owner's plans to stock a controversial Bollywood film about the India-Pakistan war of 1971 prompted 300 Muslim youths to riot outside his shop, it emerged yesterday.

The bishop who gave up the Bible for Lent

(and read the Koran from cover to cover instead)

Fay Weldon hits back at the Islamically Correct

It's not racist to stand against bigotry, the novelist tells Graham Ball

Why Islam's law bewilders the West

The Koran did not introduce the principle of retribution, but merely reaffirmed what the Old Testament said

Letter: Farsi, please

Sir: What promising news to hear that the Iranian Majlis has outlawed Western words (report, 4 December). We may have to tolerate the rule of the mullahs but perhaps they will now consider speaking our language, Farsi, and not the Arabic that has been creeping into common usage since the revolution of 1979.

Don't bin that bag: it may hold God's word

Recycling may be the international rallying cry for environmentally sound citizens, but Afghanistan's ruling Taliban has its own thoughts on the matter. Along with other radical steps to stem dissolute 20th-century practices, the movement's new edict is: no recyling. Henceforth, citizens are not allowed to carry paper bags - especially if the paper in question has already enjoyed another, more dignified life, perhaps as a page in the Koran.

The Asian district, Sparkhill, Birmingham

"What's a ghetto?" asks Manesh Chhanya, 16. "Part of a city where lots of people from one ethnic background live," I improvise. "More or less ignored by everybody else." "Yes it is then. That's exactly what Sparkhill is like."
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Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

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I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

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Footage shot by a passerby shows moment an ill man was carried out of his burning home

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Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past