With a growing number of Muslim metal detectorist’s in the UK, it comes as no surprise to the astute observers at the Daily detectorist that plans to accommodate them are already in motion.Well known public rally organizers The Weekend Wonderers have even added halal meat to the menu in the catering van at their popular weekend detecting rallies, which see numbers of keen treasure hunting enthusiasts reach well over 1000. Now these numbers are set to soar after the recent 5000 coin Saxon hoard caught the attention of the media when it was found by an unemployed father of two at a weekend wonderers event. We went to ask Wonderers founder Peter Welch a few questions regarding the current boom in Islamic interest in metal detecting.
“In recent years we’ve had a great deal of interest from members of the Islamic community wanting to get involved in the hobby, and now we have seventeen practicing Muslims that regularly attend Weekend Wonderer rallies up and down the country. We initially decided against accepting them to the club as we had previously encountered trouble from a Muslim detectorist a Mr. Aasif Fayada Kamel who, after falling out with My wife Sarah, aggressively declared that as a devout Muslim he would be obliged to totally destroy beyond recognition any non – Muslim religious relics or artifacts he might find as in Islam it would almost certainly be considered blasphemous to expose them to the light of Allah, and furthermore, he didn’t require anyone except Allah’s permission to dig anywhere he liked as all land belonged to Allah.”
The altercation occurred after Mr Kamel dug up what he considered to be a ‘suspiciously clean’ medieval crusaders heraldic pendant, and went on to allege that Sarah Welch planted it in the ground next to Mr. Kamel for a laugh. However Mr. Kamel from Bradford, not being familiar with the quirky sense of humour long associated with metal detectorists didn’t quite see the joke, and angrily made a comment about Sarah ‘needing to cover herself up a bit.’ A law suit was even suggested by the outraged Bradford detecting extremist, but eventually charges were dropped in a deal which would see halal meat permanently on the menu at all future Weekend Wonderer digs, and the banning of all pork derived products such as hot dogs or hamburgers.
“We’ve decided to give in to the will of Islam , and other non – Christian Britons, and proudly claim that detectorists of all nationalities, race and religion living in the UK are now welcome at the Weekend Wanderers, and we will do our utmost to accommodate them all.”
Now trying to push the envelope a little further, Mr. Kamel has contacted the Daily Detectorist to publish a nationwide appeal for club dig organizers to supply prayer mats for Islamic attendees out in the field .
” Everybody knows we aren’t allowed to get our prayer mats dirty, and it wouldn’t be suitable to transport or use our personal mats in a muddy environment. What we want to see is disposable prayer mats being supplied by rally organizers , they’re certainly earning enough money from us judging by all the fancy 4×4 vehicles the Wanderers staff drive around in, and without our mats present on digs we risk getting our knees and foreheads dirty at Zohar, Asar and Magrib, which are the three main prayers we have to observe on a twelve hour dig.”
Furthermore Mr. Kamel has spoken of his plans to open the UK’s first Muslim only metal detecting club: The Brotherhood of Muslim Britons, and he urges any landowners or smallholders anywhere in the UK to come forward and give British Muslims a shot at English antiquities.