More than two years have passed since the dawn of the “Arab Spring”, starting with the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. The situation in practically the whole of the Arab world remains highly fluid yet important differences have emerged among and between the countries and the
regions. While overall significant progress has been made in promoting democratic reforms (e.g. holding of elections in line with democratic standards, strengthening of the role of civil society, increased freedom of expression and assembly) many obstacles still need to be overcome in order for these transitions to be successfully consolidated.
Summary Note: Cordoba Intellectual Revisions – The Arab Spring through the lens of the Islamic Movement
The Cordoba Foundation is pleased to present its new seminar series entitled ‘TCF Intellectual Revisions’ which is a series of open debates to explore the limits and boundries of the modern Islamic thought and ideology.
The first seminar entitled ”The Arab Spring through the lens of the Islamic movement: Opportunities and Challenges” was convened on the 2nd of Nov 2012 with the participation of a prominent members of the Islamic movements in the West and the Arab world. New boundries of political Islam and Islamic thought were candidly discussed.
Old and new ideas were put to the strains of discussion and the countours of the sacred and the mundane were opened for scrutiny and investigation.
Please click here to read the document in Arabicop_peace_final_draft_v3-1
The recent outbreak of deadly communal violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar on 3 June 2012 and the on-going tensions between the Buddhist Rakhine and the Muslim Rohingya communities have left, according to official figures, more than 70 people dead, and more than 80,000 displaced. There are continued humanitarian needs among the displaced and affected populations and tensions between the communities remain high.
While the Government of Myanmar has been cooperating with the United Nations and humanitarian agencies to deliver humanitarian assistance to displaced communities, there are continuing humanitarian challenges in Rakhine State that need to be addressed. At the same time, a national dialogue on durable solutions for the situation in Rakhine is needed, in the context of the Government’s wider reform agenda, which includes a peace process and commitments to national reconciliation with ethnic nationalities.
The Overseas Development Institute’s Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) and The Cordoba Foundation (TCF) convened a closed-door High-Level Roundtable on national, regional and international responses to the crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine State on 13 September at the Overseas Development Institute’s offices in London.
The roundtable was held in accordance with the Chatham House Rule. The roundtable aimed to facilitate a high-level policy dialogue among representatives of the Government of Myanmar, regional organizations (namely OIC and ASEAN), humanitarian agencies currently working in Rakhine State as well as those planning relief responses, and representatives of the donor community.
Invited speakers included:
* H.E. U Kyaw Myo Htut, Ambassador of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Kingdom
* H.E. Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
* H.E. Ambassador Atta Manane. Bakhit, Assistance Secretary-General and Head of Humanitarian Department, Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)
* Mr. Ashok Nigam, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Myanmar
* Mr. Oliver Lacey-Hall, Head of Regional Office for Asia-Pacific, UNOCHA
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
In this edition, Arches Quarterly explores the various strategies and approaches adopted to deal with terrorism and counter-terrorism in an attempt to consider the myriad of possible scenarios and outcomes with which we can break the deadlock we find ourselves i.
The Cold War on British Muslims, shows how the Centre for Social Cohesion and Policy Exchange have rejected counter-terrorism policies based on public safety and have instead sought to revive discredited counter-subversion policies from the Cold War era – policies which targeted a generation of trade union leaders and peace activists including future Labour Ministers. The report warns that reviving such policies is likely to stigmatise and even criminalise politically active Muslims, as well as liberals and leftists, and risk undermining the traditional freedoms enjoyed by churches, schools, universities and public libraries.
The Cold War on British Muslims also reveals for the first time the network of individuals and foundations that are bankrolling both think-tanks. Donors identified in the report include the neoconservative Rosenkranz Foundation in the United States, and hardline Zionists like Lord Kalms and the late Cyril Stein in the UK. It reveals that both think-tanks share major donors with a number of controversial organisations including the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers, the Israel-Diaspora Trust (an organisation founded by the late Rabbi Sidney Brichto, a passionate supporter of Israel and scourge of its critics inside and outside the UK Jewish community) and the Anglo-Israel Association (founded in 1949 by the Christian Zionist Sir Wyndham Deedes).SpinwatchReport_ColdWar12
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
This report is a document of a forum that took place on the 1st of February 2012 that examined community responses to the riots of Summer 2011 in London and other UK Cities
It summarises impressions from discussions held which have identified areas as worthy of consideration for future engagement.
To find out more about the event, please click here
Occasional Papers is a publication of The Cordoba Foundation that provides a medium for diverse opinions, presenting a comprehensive view of the myriad perspectives pertaining to dialogue and cross-cultural exchange. This is done by publishing important contributions by experts and world leaders
This issue explores ‘The Universality of International Law in a Globalising World’ and highlights the keynote address given by Hishashi Owada, President of the International Court of Justice, at the London Muslim Centre on 20th January 2012, convened by the Pro Bono in the LMCOP_Series04_March2012
Research Report: Inside madrassas – Understanding and engaging with British-Muslim faith supplementary schools
At present, there is a significant lack of understanding among policymakers and the wider public about madrassas. Very little of what features in public debates has been generated through rigorous research. The main source of public information stems from the media.
This report attempts to fill to gaps by providing new evidence about how British madrassas work, the impact they have on local communities, and their role in the educational, social and religious development of children.
The report investigates the three important challenges that face madrassas in the UK:
Lack of evidence about what work madrassas do and how they work
Concerns about the impact of madrassas on community cohesion and radicalisation
The influence of madrassas on children’s education and welfare.