Building a Shared Future: Launch of an E-Book Series on Islam in the US & Europe

Building a Shared Future: Launch of an E-Book Series on Islam in the US & Europe

The British Council’s Our Shared Future project and the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge have released a series of four e-books featuring commentary from leading global experts on Islam and Muslim intercultural relations.

Each book in the Building a Shared Future series addresses a different theme: “The Power of Words and Images,” “Citizenship and Identity,” “Islam, Knowledge, and Innovation,” and “Religion, Politics, and the Public Sphere.” The essays were written for a conference held in Cambridge in March 2012, “Building a Shared Future: Rethinking Muslim/non-Muslim Relations,” which explored the deep connections between Muslim and non-Muslim societies in contemporary culture, the arts, humanities and science.

“Misperceptions and misinformation often dominate public dialogue about relations between Muslims and others. Although they don’t speak with the loudest voice, academics, scholars and thought leaders have a key role to play in helping to rebalance these debates by providing fact-based opinion and informed arguments,” write Our Shared Future project manager Emmanuel Kattan and Prof. Yasir Suleiman of the University of Cambridge in their introduction to the series.

Contributing authors include scholars, academics, journalists and civil society leaders from the US and Europe, such as Simon Kuper of The Financial Times, Mark Hammond of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Sheila B. Lalwani of Foreign Policy, Jocelyne Cesari of Harvard and Johns Hopkins Universities, and Shahed Amanullah of the U.S. Department of State.


For more information or to download the books, please click here

3 Years on: A Hurting Stalemate in Sri Lanka

Last month saw the official marking of three years after the end of the 28 year old war that plagued Sri Lanka, killing thousands and setting the country back in terms of development and prosperity.  Yet three years on, it seems that not much has changed.

Whilst Sri Lanka has tried to portray that there has been progress made on the ground largely in infrastructural development, critics have been quick to highlight the lack of tangible progress on reconciliation, in effect  the inertia on implementing internal recommendations for reconciliation, coupled with an ever weakening space for human rights, media expression and democratic freedom.   The recent resolutions at the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva on Sri Lanka have been testimony to this type of thinking where analysts have not only been critical that progress has been slow on the ground amidst a decline in general rights that are deemed to be core to a functioning democracy, but they have also pointed to the need to keep this on the international agenda.

This is a debatable fact and the Government is not really willing to engage on any real discussion on the issue despite the occurrences as reported in the media of kidnappings and killings. A recent interview between the defence secretary and the BBC is testimony to the extremely sensitive nature of such discussions and criticisms.

Please click here to read more

Muslim Writers Awards 2012 Call for Submissions – The Spirit of Cordoba Prize

Muslim Writers Awards 2012 Call for Submissions – The Spirit of Cordoba Prize

Considered to have witnessed the dawn of western civilisation, the medieval city of Cordoba has for centuries been revered for its significant contribution to scholarship and learning. A cultural, economic and political metropolis, Cordoba is world-renowned for providing a haven for persecuted communities, an attribute which travelled far during Cordoba’s golden years.

In the spirit of the significance of the city of Cordoba in medieval times, The Cordoba Foundation in partnership with Muslim Writers Awards is proud to present ‘The Spirit of Cordoba’ prize, awarded to an individual who embodies the essence of Cordoba.

To award this prize, the organisers are inviting members of the public to nominate individuals/groups who have uniquely contributed in analysing the relationship between the east and west in an attempt to open the channels of communication and dialogue between the two. These individuals/groups will strive towards redirecting narratives to correct the presentation of the ‘other’ in an attempt to embody the essence of Cordoba’s peaceful co-existence, today.

Assessed by an esteemed panel of judges headed by The Cordoba Foundation CEO, Anas Altikriti, the prize will be awarded to the individual/group whose work in expressive arts (photography, writing, theatre, art) is proved to have made an impact on the wider society, building a strong following and changing public opinion, creating a media stir and even perhaps helping to change legislation.

Closing date: 20th July

The 2012 Muslim Writers Awards welcomes submissions from Muslim writers across the world. We have a broad range of categories from screen play to novel writing to journalism. Our awards ceremony is an opportunity to showcase talent from both published and unpublished writers. We also work with a number of literary agents and publishers who are eager to read and review writing submitted to us.

Film Screening and Panel Discussion: DEATH TUNNEL

Film Screening and Panel Discussion: DEATH TUNNEL

Arts Canteen and The Cordoba Foundation present Death Tunnel, a special screening and panel discussion exploring the true stories of Gazans, who living under siege, dig tunnels in order to work and live.

Following the screening, there will be  a panel discussion with the documentary film maker Mohammed Harb,  Maysoon Pachachi, founder of Baghdad film school and Oliver McTernan, director of Forward Thinking

Date & Time: Wednesday  27th June, 6.30pm

: 24 Greencoat Place, London, SW1P 1RD (closest tube is Victoria).


To reserve a seat please click here.

Please note that there will be a £5  admission fee payable at the door.

TRIP ANNOUNCEMENT – British Delgation to Bosnia-Herzegovina

TRIP ANNOUNCEMENT – British Delgation to Bosnia-Herzegovina

The Cordoba Foundation will be leading a delegation of British Muslims to Bosnia-Herzegovina this year, between 6/7* July to 15 July. The trip is part of ongoing work by The Cordoba Foundation in Bosnia, namely raising awareness around the massacre in Srebrenica and supporting specific projects.

2012 is the last year before the month of Ramadan coincides with the annual Srebrenica memorial (11th July), thus making it difficult for people to travel for the next few years. Join us this year inshaAllah.

1.    Partake in the 11 July 2012 Srebrenica International Anniversary, where the janazah of hundreds of Bosnian Muslims will take place.
2.    Observe how Bosnian Muslims have responded and are recovering from the long years of war, destruction and ethnic-cleansing.
3.    Discuss and exchange ideas and thoughts about the Muslim experience in Europe and future scenarios.
4.    Support a specific fundraising projects.
5.    Raise greater awareness of the genocide.

The week-long trip (6/7-15 July) will include visits to important sites and meetings with prominent people, including the Grand Mufti, scholars, families of shuhada, teachers, community leaders, campaigners, families and orphans. The trip will also include recreational and sightseeing activities, including water-rafting and mountain-climbing.

A detailed scheduled will be provided closer to the time of the trip.

Fees inclusive of flights, hotels, transportation inside Bosnia, trips and meetings/briefings. Cost is £800

Deadline for confirmation:
11th July 2012. Confirmation will need to be accompanied by full payment (cash and non-refundable) and the completion of form, below. To arrange payment of fees email: (send completed form, along with a copy of a valid British passport to the same address).


1.    British citizens do not require visa to enter Bosnia. Non-UK residents will need to apply for visa, which can take time and may result in complications. We are therefore only accepting people who hold British passports.
2.    Children are not encouraged on this trip given the packed schedule and extensive travel.
3.    Pre-trip briefing and full itinerary will be provided nearer to the date.
4.    The Cordoba Foundation will have the final say on the composition of the delegation.


Abdullah Faliq – Organiser 07947 787 222 |


Victoria and Abdul: A friendship ahead of its time

I am a self-confessed history geek who loves nothing better than to get into a story from the past — especially one that is as relevant to today’s policy discussions and societal concerns as it was when it first occurred.

photos 1.jpgFew stories, however, have managed to tick all the boxes for me as well as the story of Victoria and Abdul.  When I first came across the book Victoria & Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant, written by Shrabani Basu, it was an innocent interest in a historical story that made me venture in, but by the time I was finished, I was convinced that this was something greater.  It is what prompted me to convince our organisation to feature it in the launch of our new Cordoba Heritage Series, which kicked off on the 10th of May 2012.

Even for those of us who have at one stage or another studied Victorian history, this is a relatively unknown story.

In June 1887 two Indian servants were sent to Queen Victoria as a present for her Golden Jubilee. One was the 24-year-old Abdul Karim. Young Karim immediately caught the Queen’s eye and was rapidly promoted to become her Indian Secretary in 1894. He cooked her curries, became her Hindustani tutor and delighted the elderly Queen with his stories about India, especially as she had not visited the sub-continent despite having the grand title of ‘Empress of India’, and soon became the lonely monarch’s closest companion.

Please click here to read more

Roundtable / Reception – Security in Europe

Roundtable / Reception – Security in Europe

A dialogue on Security in Europe, organised by the European Network on Religion and Belief (ENORB), exploring the contribution of Europe’s diversity of religions, humanist and philosophical traditions to overcoming discrimination, violence and extremism.

This event is the first public seminar organised by ENORB, a new European network combating discrimination and prejudice and promoting mutual understanding and harmony in the field of Religion and Belief.  As with other EU Equalities networks, ENORB works for common action on the basis of the inclusive policies enshrined in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights

There is a deadline of May 15th for registering.  Please click here to register