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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
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Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable