Accrington teenager shortlisted for global accolade

COMING TOGETHER Pupils who took part in the exercise to show religious understanding

COMING TOGETHER Pupils who took part in the exercise to show religious understanding

First published in Education Asian Image: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

AN East Lancashire teenager has beaten her peers across the world to be shortlisted for a global accolade.

Hollins Technology College student Amna Aslam produced a short film ‘Muhammad In Accrington... Inspiring Me’ as part of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation Faith Shorts contest.

In the film the 14-year-old challenges the views of Islam by documenting the way Prophet Muhammad motivates students at the Accrington school in their everyday lives.

The film impressed the judging panel and her work is one of only three that made the final cut from the UK.

In total 15 projects were shortlisted from across the world.

Amna said: “One in five people in the world today is a Muslim and many are inspired by one man – the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad.

“Fourteen centuries on, the inspiration of Muhammed’s life continues to touch the hearts of over a billion people and more.

"Yet, arguably, great misunderstanding exists about his life, his teachings, his message and his contribution to humanity.

“The faith shorts competition allowed us to capture these thoughts on film and share it with people around the world.”

Entries flooded in from countries around the world including Australia, Canada, India, Lebanon, Philippines, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and the United States.

Faith Shorts gave students the chance show how their faith inspired them.

Amna made the film during RE and Citizenship lessons with the help of the school.

Extended services co-ordinater Waqar Ahmed pulled the project together with the help of Waqaus Ali from Think BRITE Services, which specialises in the delivery of community cohesion and cultural awareness.

Hayley Nunley, teacher of RE and Psychology and is in charge of Citizenship and PSHEE at Hollins, said: “As a school, we feel it is very important for young people to be given the opportunity to develop thoughts and beliefs then learn how to express them.”

Mr Blair said: “This new generation holds the potential to help turn the tide against religious tensions.”

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