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Best Man’s Speech
Dr Watson’s return to London is peppered with nightmares & flashbacks.  He’s back from combat in Afghanistan a lost & lonely soul.  Lost & lonely, that is, until he meets the world’s only consulting detective – Sherlock Holmes!
Sherlock Holmes’ obsessive devotion to scientific deduction works to his personal detriment – he has no friends! No friends, until Dr John Watson becomes a 221B Baker Street flatmate.
And so beneath the surface of the detective story begins the story of the greatest friendship ever.  But because it’s a male friendship it’s simply never talked about – unless there’s a best man’s speech to give. And in last week’s BBC episode ‘The Sign of Three’ Sherlock became exactly that – best man at Watson’s wedding.  Sherlock delivers one of the most entertainingly awkward & tenderly touching speeches, “I will solve your murder but it takes John Watson to save your life. Trust me on that I should know he’s saved mine so many times & in so many ways”
Last week I too had the honour of being asked to be best man at my friend’s wedding.  What can I learn from Sherlock & Watson?  Both characters need friendship to temper the humdrum predictability of everyday life seen through the lens of uncompromising applications of logic & an addiction to adventure.  But their friendship goes far beyond the functionality of sharing a common mission.  The secret to Sherlock & Watson’s friendship, I believe, is honesty. Because a friendship without honesty is no friendship at all.
Marriage changes things. It’s true from a fictional standpoint & for real friendships.  But for blokes I believe a healthy marriage hinges on honest male friendship.  Why? Because more women were killed through male domestic violence in the UK in 2013 than British troops were killed in Afghanistan over the last 3 years!  We lose more lives through violence in the home than through war.
Surely a sense of entitlement to power & control over women is at war with the heart of man.
Most blokes don’t commit domestic violence against women, but most men do have an influence on the culture of masculinity that allows other men to become abusive husbands, boyfriends, or exes.  By making our friendships with other men more honest we can change this culture.
Tonight’s final episode of Sherlock centres on the terrifying villain Charles Augustus Magnussen – the master blackmailer. How will Sherlock & Watson’s friendship fare? The power of blackmail lays in unrevealed secrets. Real friendships scratch beneath the surface of the false self –that Facebook version of ourselves we’re all tempted to project.  The Enemy will try to blackmail us into silence because – to varying degrees – we’re all complicit in this culture of control that’s allowed other men to abuse women.
If your mate’s using tactics to control his wife, girlfriend, or ex are you prepared to challenge him?  If you notice signs of abuse of power & control over women in your own behaviour are you prepared to get help?  It’s time to break the silence on domestic violence through male friendships.  The only shame is in staying silent.
3 things every Christian & Muslim Man can Do:
  1. Follow Dwell on Facebook & Twitter OR book a Dwell speaker for your faith group
  2. Sign the White Ribbon or First Man Standing pledge 
  3. Set time aside to pray & assess your own attitude towards women in your life
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Who’s Saving Whose Face?

Sep 27 2013
By: Eddie
Categories: Mohammad Jawad & Danny Silk
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“The first step in solving any problem is recognising there is one” – Will McAvoy. The Newsroom.

The Newsroom TV series follows reporter Will McAvoy who’s obsessed with his fan base.  To him his ratings are everything.  He tells people the news they want to hear & he’s popular because he doesn’t bother anyone. In other words, he’s stopped telling true news.
Enter Will’s ex-girlfriend British journalist MacKenzie McHale returning fresh from the fields of Pakistan, Afghanistan & Iraq.  She’s been to way too many funerals for a woman her age & she believes journalists owe people the truth. Will’s courage to tell true news regardless of ratings is reignited.  Together they form a powerful partnership. They set out to see the death of gossip & reclaim journalism’s honour.
This is true news: Today more than 1/3 women worldwide suffer physical or sexual violenceA vast majority of this violence is committed by husbands, boyfriends, & male ex-partners. Most men are silent about these facts.
The first step in solving any problem is recognising there is one. 
Most men aren’t satisfied being popular because we didn’t bother anyone!  I believe most men have the courage to go against the flow of silence about violence.  We need to start kicking up some bother.  To save the honour in being men because committing violence against women is shameful.  I believe men can break this silence because of men like Mohammed Jawad & Danny Silk.
The model Katie Piper was attacked with acid on the streets of London in 2008.  The plastic surgeon who reconstructed her face was Dr Mohammad Jawad.  Katie Piper said, “Mr Jawad seemed like an angel to me. Two men had destroyed my face, & now this one was going to try to rebuild it.” But Katie also changed Dr Jawad’s life forever.  He learnt how prevalent acid attacks against women are & it broke his heart.  He set out to Karachi in Pakistan, the city of his birth, to use his surgical skills to re-construct survivors’ faces.  “In a way I’m saving my own face,” he says, “it’s a very shameful thing as a society to be living with acid attacks & not be doing anything about it.”

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Check out the work of Dr Jawad with charity Islamic Help here
One December night an 8 year old Danny crept out of his bedroom, down the hall & into the kitchen to be confronted with a paralyzing scene.  Doug, his mum’s boyfriend, had his hands wrapped around mummy’s throat.  Her feet lifted inches from the ground.  Doug turned & spotted Danny in the kitchen doorway & dropped Danny’s mum to the floor.  Scared for his life, Danny ran back to his room, waiting for Doug to burst in.  “That was the night I first tasted terror,” he says.  This was the first in a series of abusive relationships Danny’s mum had with men throughout Danny’s childhood.  Today, Pastor Danny Silk’s passion to see full equality between men & women is rooted in his own story.  See Danny Silk’s story here
As Dr Mohammed Jawad & Pastor Danny Silk honour women, they also save masculinity from crisis.  They go against the flow of men’s silence on violence against women.  Many men, like Dr Jawad, meet women in our professional lives who’ve survived violence.  Many men, like Danny & like me, know women in our own families who’ve suffered abuse – our mums, our sisters, or our wives who’ve suffered in past relationships. I’m proud to follow men like Dr Jawad & Danny Silk & join them in kicking up some bother by rebuilding what it means to be a real man. In a way we’re saving our own face. Will you join us by breaking the silence?


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Blokes, add your voice on Facebook & Twitter.
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