Arches Quarterly: Vol 4 Edition 6 (5MB)

Arches Quarterly: Vol 4 Edition 6 (5MB)

A quarterly journal providing deeper and nuanced analysis of the issues and developments in the arena of dialogue, civilizations, and a rapprochement between Islam and the West

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In this edition, Arches Quarterly explores numerous perspectives on globalisation in an age of increased difference and divergence, while at the same time, witnessing noticeable convergence around ideology, faith and beliefs.
Press Release:Quilliam’s Maajid Nawaz has to retract his false claim

Press Release:Quilliam’s Maajid Nawaz has to retract his false claim

The Cordoba Foundation (TCF) rejects utterly libellous allegations made against it by co-director of the Quilliam Foundation Maajid Nawaz. On Sunday 8 August on the Sky News Sunday Live programme, Nawaz falsely claimed that “The Cordoba Foundation, they in Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall, hosted the Al Qaeda preacher Anwar al-Awlaki”.


This accusation is baseless, since TCF has at no time organised or hosted any event at the Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall.  Nawaz is basing this accusation on a similar report issued by the Centre for Social Cohesion in 2009, which TCF refuted in a statement on 13 November 2009.


It is utterly absurd for Nawaz to state that TCF had hosted Al-Awlaki given that Al-Awlaki has attacked and declared un-Islamic (Haram or Kufr) a number of initiatives and projects which TCF either run or fully support that encourage wider engagement of young Muslims with British and European politics and the media.


This accusation by Nawaz is illustrative of the lack of professionalism, accuracy, sound academic research and even truth, demonstrated by him and the Quilliam Foundation.


Anas Altikriti, CEO of The Cordoba Foundation said “Nawaz’s baseless claim exposes the Quilliam Foundation’s amateurish and flawed working methods for what they are: cheap and simple, for the purposes of achieving mudslinging tabloid notoriety. It is surprising that any political party, organisation or individual should continue to accord such organisations credibility or respect.”


TCF demands Nawaz and the Quilliam Foundation retract the accusation forthwith.  Failing to do so will compel TCF to seek legal council.


The Cordoba Foundation continues to pursue its aims and objectives through actual projects, real initiatives and true engagement with those who matter for the future of our country.


Cordoba Papers: No Enemy to Conquer

Cordoba Papers: No Enemy to Conquer

This issue deals with the concept of forgiveness and reconciliation by exploring real life stories and was presented by Michael Henderson at St Ethelburgas Centre for Reconciliation and Peace on the 18th of August 2010


Event Report: Cordoba Seminars – No Enemy to Conquer: Building Peace in an Age of Conflict

Event Report: Cordoba Seminars – No Enemy to Conquer: Building Peace in an Age of Conflict

Michael Henderson is the first to admit that his work has no academic basis. Rather he prefers to ‘tell stories’. The difference though is that his stories are based on hands-on experience of real life men and women working to build bridges between people of differing colours, cultures and languages.

mh 5.jpgSo on the 17th of August as part of The Cordoba Seminar series in the impressive settings of St Ethelburgas Centre for Reconciliation and Peace, he shared his stories ‘as a privilege of highlighting the readiness of men and women to forgive and ask for forgiveness’.

mh 3.jpgFrom Nigeria, to Lebanon, to Israel, India and Northern Ireland, Michael criss crossed the countries sharing the stories of individuals taking responsibility to move beyond victimhood, to create safe spaces in the purposes of forging alliances. In his words, Michael says ‘ The building of relationships of trust is a priority and now more than ever, we need reconciliation and forgiveness’.

Michael highlights 6 key steps which he has found is essential in the process of reconciliation and forgiveness and which he has found are backed up by his stories:
The concept of ‘a Clash or an Alliance?’
The need to ‘Reach out to the “Other”’
The need to ‘Move beyond Victimhood’
The need to ‘take Responsibility’
The concept of ‘Creating a Safe Space’
The need to ‘Acknowledge the Past’
mh 1.jpgThese are not mutually exclusive according to Michael but are systematic milestones that need to be achieved if true reconciliation is the end goal.
During the Holy Month of Ramadan, where forgiveness and mercy from two key components, Michael’s speech was even more poignant, a factor reiterated by the chair of the event, Anas Altikriti, CEO of The Cordoba Foundation

As he concluded his speech Michael quotes Rajmohan Ghandi (the grandson of Mhatama Ghandi) who says that the ‘call for reconciliation is in the end a call for sanity’.

Speech: 15 Years of the Srebrenica Memorial

Speech: 15 Years of the Srebrenica Memorial

This is a copy of the Friday Sermon delivered on this occaision by Dr Mustafa Ceric.

1) Say :He is God alone! He has begotten no one, nor is He begotten; and there is no one comparable to Him! (Qur’an: 112).

 2) There is a couple, a man and a woman, whom from families arise, as well as  tribes and peoples that are supposed to meet and recognize one another on the path of common good!

3) There are three ethnic communities in our country, which respected differences of one another since ancient times and complemented each other with similarities in the spirit of Bosnian coexistence and tolerance!

4) There are four religions and traditions: Judaism, Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity and Islam, as gifts from Jerusalem and proof of God’s will to have several religions and traditions as a means to encourage people to compete against each other in making good deeds!

5) There are five rivers: the Drina in the east, the Una in the west, the Neretva in the south, the Sava in the north and the Bosna in the middle of our country, from which we all, irrespective of our faith and ethnic background, absorb the power of life!

6) There are six indefeasible human rights guaranteed to any person: right to life, right to faith, right to freedom, right to property, right to dignity and right to a family!

7) There are seven green wheat ears that should be preserved from drying out during the seven hungry years!

8) There are eight pillars of morality: sanctity, philanthropy, patriotism, nationalism, veracity, fairness, pacifism and tolerance!

9) There are nine reasons to live and to bear up: to be a witness of genocide; to be a fighter for truth and justice; to be in Potočari on July 11th; to preserve the memory of shahid (martyrs) – one’s own relatives and brothers; to disclose war crimes, wherever they happened; to fight for the rights of the vulnerable and disempowered, irrespective of who they are; to return to your home and your homeland; and to be a proud advocates of peace and reconciliation among the people, wherever you are!

10) There are the ten Commandments of God: worship only God, be kind, honorable and humble to one’s parents, look after your neighbors, love your homeland, care for orphaned children, do not kill, do not steal, do not lie, keep promises and stay on the path of righteousness.

11) Eleventh is the day contained in each of the twelve months, which reminds us all of the day of genocide that took place on July 11, 1995 in Srebrenica!

12) There were the twelve apostles of ‘Isa, the followers whom shall we learn from all over again, trusting that their path is the only right path for all of us – the path of faith, peace and reconciliation! There is no other path to success and salvation of human kind!

13) There are thirteen ways to look after the victims of genocide: by showing them respect; by giving them hope; by not giving up on them; by offering them love and friendship; by fining them a shelter; by ensuring them the right to work and employment; by recognizing them the right to compensation for emotional pain and suffering; by saving them from offenses and humiliations; by offering them solidarity; by ensuring that in their homeland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, at any place and at any time they enjoy fundamental human rights; by ensuring that in Srebrenica they do not encounter those police officers who have killed their children; by having all states of the world to sign the resolution that condemns genocide!

We want to say it now and here. If they are honest in what they are saying, and we do not know what is in their hearts, they should forgive us our faith, our culture and our desire to have home, to have a state to protect us from genocide.

If they are honest in what they are saying, they should open the doors of ghetto and allow us to travel around Europe and the world as free citizens, without visas.

I want you all to know that, on the earth and in the sky, civilization does not start from the moment when a Bosniak is buried. The civilization starts from the moment when a Bosniak is born without the fear from genocide in the future.

I also want to say that, as people who have memory of genocide in Europe, just like Jews, we are deeply hurt and humiliated by the fact that honorable men of ours, who defended the little freedom we have, are nowadays being arrested at the European airports.

We want freedom for all, as we want it for our selves. We want to live without fear in this Europe -without the fear for our children and grandchildren.

We pray to Allah to help us all in fighting for one another, for the rights of us and the others in Europe, so that we do not experience expulsion in this century as the Jews and Muslims have experienced it on two occasions.

This is for those here, who brought us all together to this place today.

14) Rijad Gabeljić, who shall we burry today, was only fourteen when he was killed in Srebrenica genocide on July 11, 1995!

15) For fifteen difficult, sad and painful years the families of genocide victims in Srebrenica have been searching for their beloved ones. For fifteen years perpetrators of the Srebrenica genocide have been denying their crime, outraging the victims and defying the International Court of Justice. We hope that on the 15th anniversary and day after this funeral in Potočari, on July 12, we will not look again at hordes of unknown people wearing well-known symbols of hatred and terror, mocking all of us who came here to pay respect to victims of the most hideous crime since holocaust! Victims of the Srebrenica genocide must be saved from the insults and humiliations, which had happened in the middle of town of Srebrenica right after this solemn gathering, because these people know how to bear their pain and distress in a dignified manner! This is a proud and honorable people who means no harm to anyone, but also the people determined not to be subject to any mocking and humiliation!

Thus, if we really want to prevent future genocides we must do much more than sympathize with the victims. We have to comprehend the psychological depth of the perpetrators of genocide and indifference of genocide observers.

We have to learn what makes some persons, who were once normal, to hate other persons and people to the extent that they want to systematically and methodically eliminate them all! But we also need to learn about those who support genocide against innocent people or observe it from the distance! We need to learn more about them too!

We also need to learn about the holocaust and genocide not only as of historical facts but also as a means to teach our children about the dangers of racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other examples of human intolerance.

We must teach younger generations to appreciate democracy and human rights and encourage them to reject hatred, intolerance and ethnic conflicts.

Article: Terrorism Policy Flaws ‘Increased Risk of Attacks’

Britain’s fight against terrorism has been a disaster, because its “flawed, neo-conservative” direction alienated Muslims and increased the chances of terrorist attacks, a former leading counter-terrorism officer has told the Guardian.

Speaking to mark today’s fifth anniversary of the 7 July attacks in London, Dr Robert Lambert said the atrocity had led the Labour government to launch not just the publicly declared battle against al-Qaida, but a much wider counter-subversive campaign that targeted non-violent Muslims and branded them as supporters of violence.

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