Islamic Banking and the art world unite in Birmingham

17 February 2010

Press Release

Acclaimed Muslim street artist Mohammed Ali and Islamic Bank of Britain forge together to connect communities through live graffiti-art and poetry

In a unique partnership of the Banking and Arts world, Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB, and renowned Muslim artist and South Bank Show Award winner Mohammed Ali, aka Aerosol Arabic, delighted audiences at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre with his latest project which brought aerosol art and the spoken word together. The event saw internationally recognised poets along side the Birmingham-born artist for a one-night-only performance called the ‘Writing on the Wall’. The Islamic Bank of Britain was the lead sponsor, and the only private sector organisation supporting the event.

Ali’s live aerosol art was coupled with poetry from internationally renowned Zena Edwards, American performer Amir Sulaiman and Birmingham’s 2006 Poet Laureate Dreadlock Alien, as well as production by the legendary Hip Hop theatre producer Jonzi D. Prior to the event, Ali took a two-week residency in the theatre, and worked alongside local visual artists to create unique images in the theatre’s scenic workshop, which is due to close for redevelopment.

“IBB and I have a lot in common. We’re both trying to inject ethical values and spirituality into our lives.”

Mohamed Ali – South Bank Show Award winning Artist

Sultan Choudhury, commercial director at IBB commented, “’Writing on the Wall’ was a fantastic event and IBB congratulates Mohammed Ali on his excellent achievement. Mohammed and IBB share the objective of connecting communities which he achieves impeccably through his inspiring visual art. Similarly IBB, as a Sharia compliant bank, takes social responsibility very seriously and was keen to be involved in the event. IBB and Mohammed Ali are both considered pioneers in their respective fields, making the partnership a natural one based on the shared vision to break down barriers and reach our audiences through exciting and innovative ways.”

‘Writing on the Wall’ was an idea thought up by Ali four years ago; the event is a radical expression of emotion and values through visual art and spoken word. The production interweaved sights and sounds to inspire the audiences’ imagination, provoking thoughts and creative fires. Live poetry and painting blended seamlessly in front of an all-around standing audience.

Mohammed Ali has established himself in the field of faith and the arts for the past decade. He has worked alongside various communities to inspire residents through exciting visual arts, promoting global concepts and ideals. The aim of his work is to not only express his own ideas through an aerosol can, but also connect communities. As well as numerous commissions around the world – including Sydney, New York and Kuala Lumpur – Mohammed recently won an award in the hugely respected ITV Southbank Show Awards. He is now developing his wall-based artwork, which has received media recognition across the world including CNN, BBC Newsnight, Aljazeera and Reuters.

Mohammed Ali commented, “This concept has been four years in the making and I’ve been waiting to launch the project until I was happy with it. Not only is this a radical approach to art and spoken word, but I’m hoping to create art that will inspire people with hope and positivity. I’m trying to bring a bit of colour into some of the ugly conditions that exist in the world today. To bring together street-art and spoken word from some of the best poets around at the moment, and taking that into our city’s leading producing theatre is really quite exciting.”


About Islamic Bank of Britain 

Islamic Bank of Britain plc (Bank) has pioneered Sharia compliant retail banking in the UK and has launched a wide range of products, including the Home Purchase Plan (the halal mortgage alternative) Current Accounts and Savings Accounts. The Bank was also the first to introduce Sharia compliant business banking to the UK, and now offers a wide range of institutional and business banking products and services, including Commercial Property Finance. 

Several of the Bank’s products remain unique in the UK retail market. 

The Bank is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and is a member of Financial Services Compensation Scheme. All products offered by the Bank are fully approved by the Bank’s Sharia Supervisory Committee (SSC). 

Sharia compliant banking operates without the use of interest. The products that are offered are structured in a different way to those provided by conventional banks 

Whilst the Bank offers products and services that are designed in accordance with Sharia principles, it is an inclusive Bank and welcomes customers of all faiths. 

Notes to editors: 

Interviews with Islamic Bank of Britain are available on request. The bank should only be referred to as “Islamic Bank of Britain”. If abbreviated please use “IBB”. 


Issued by Islamic Bank of Britain Plc, Edgbaston House, 3 Duchess Place, Birmingham B16 8NH

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