openDemocracy discussion

22 July 2005

"London, 7 July 2005: What happened, what changed, what now?" was the name of yesterday's openDemocracy discussion held in collaboration with the Muslim magazine Q-News.


After the events yesterday  we did not expect full turnout, but surprisingly many guests attended the discussion in the end. There was a healthy mix of young and old and Muslim and non-Muslim people in the audience, which turned the debate into a sheer educational experience.

The panel, chaired by openDemocracy editor Isabel Hilton, included Humare Khan (far left), founding member of An-Nisa Society, Hisham Hellyer, Fuad Nahdi, editor-in-chief of Q-News and playwright and actor Robin Soans.

The discussion was based on the three main questions given in the topic but revolved mainly around the question of Muslim/British identity. Many members of the audience gave information on their personal experience with Islam and the Muslim community, others challenged cliches imposed by the media and the speakers' points of view.


After the discussion many stayed in front of Chatham House to discuss the topic further. I guess nobody really found an answer to the discussion's questions, but certainly left the event with a lot of ideas and encouragement for more exchange.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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