Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Moon: record breaking ticket sales

New Moon, the second movie in the Twilight franchise, is breaking ticket sales records even before it is released. In the UK alone more than £1 million worth of tickets have been sold before New Moon even opens.

It looks like New Moon and the Twilight franchise really are establishing themselves as the next big thing after the Harry Potter books and movies:

TWILIGHT sequel New Moon has taken �1million before even being released - as the fastest advance-selling film of the year.

Odeon and UCI cinemas reported that it had already sold 143,000 tickets.

The movie, starring ROBERT PATTINSON as vampire Edward Cullen and KRISTEN STEWART as lovelorn student Bella Swan, goes on national release on Friday.

That's pretty good you know, breaking the advance sales records for the year. There are what, four Twilight books so far, this is the second movie only and no doubt the author is pumping out more as we speak: so another decade or more of Twilight to come then, yes?

Friday, November 06, 2009

Who says Allahu Akbar?

Allahu Akbar is one of those phrases which can be terribly misunderstood. In the Islamic world this Arabic phrase is used in a number of different ways.

Literally, Allahu Akbar means "God is the Greatest" or "God is Great". But it's the use of it which can be controversial. It is often used simply as an everyday expression: of joy for example. It can also be a phrase of political (or perhaps religious) import, as when it was used in Iran around the time of the downfall of the Shah.

It is also an integral part of prayers (perhaps in the same sense as the Christian "Amen").

But Allahu Akbar can also be much more than this:

Allahu Akbar can also be used as a fast and colloquial manner of converting to Islam. The simple repetition of the phrase three times, "Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar" is taken by most Islamic jurists as being sufficient expression of the core Islamic beliefs that those who say it are now Muslim. Traditionally (and perhaps anecdotally) those who say this either in battle or afterwards when captured will be deemed to have converted, become part of the Ummah (the Islamic community) and thus no longer be considered as enemies.