David Cameron recently ordered a “review” into the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain, which is to be conducted by the British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. The review comes at a time when the Muslim Brotherhood, victors in Egypt’s only free election to date, is being subject to the most ferocious repression by the military regime.
This timely seminar asks whether this review represents a threat to British liberties and favours the perpetrators of human rights abuses everywhere. Moreover, is the review the result of pressure placed on the British government by undemocratic regimes abroad? Could our Prime Minister be setting a dangerous precedent by conducting this review?
Join us for a lively discussion and exchange of views.
Speakers: LORD KEN MACDONALD QC
DR ANAS ALTIKRITI – THE CORDOBA FOUNDATION
DR MAHA AZZAM – EGYPTIANS FOR DEMOCRACY – UK
PETER OBORNE – THE TELEGRAPH
MONA AL-QAZZAZ – MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD
Wednesday 28th May 20145:45PM – 9PMRoyal Overseas LeaguePrincess Alexandra Hall
Overseas House, Park Place, St. James’s Street London SW1A 1LR
Nearest Tube: Green Park
Authored by Ayse Kadayifci-Orellana (Salam Institute for Peace and Justice & Georgetown University, USA), Mohammed Abu-Nimer (Salam Institute for Peace and Justice & American University, USA) and Amjad Mohamed-Saleem (The Cordoba Foundation)
This paper discusses Islamic traditions of peace and conflict resolution, and argues that nonviolent and the peaceful resolution of conflicts has been an integral aspect of Islamic tradition since the time of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
This paper also discusses various community conflict resolution mechanisms that have been developed and effectively applied to resolve conflicts in the Muslim world such as wasata (mediation), sulha (reconciliation) and hewar (dialogue). With this focus the paper seeks to identify the principles which can be used to justify Islamic teachings against violence and a process of resolving conflict.
This publication includes discussion of:
• Broad ethics and teachings from an Islamic perspective on avoiding violent conflict.
• How the peaceful resolution of conflicts has been an integral aspect of Islamic tradition since the time of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
• How Peacebuilding and conflict resolution mechanisms in the Muslim contexts are informed by assumptions common across religio-cultural traditions
• Examples of community conflict resolution mechanisms that have been developed and effectively applied to resolve conflicts in the Muslim world
Is the Arab Spring dead? Certainly not according to Dr Anas Al Tikriti, the British-Arab founder of Cordoba Foundation, who was one of the panelists on 20 March 2014 at the Skeel Lecture Theatre (Queen Mary University of London). Dr Anas came to prominence in the UK when he participated in mobilisation for the historic “Don’t Attack Iraq” march in London ( March 03).
In a forceful presentation he argued that the Arab Spring was a process not an isolated event. As such it is bound to have ups and downs; but its line of movement is now irreversible. The people can’t be subdued by force. They no longer fear their rulers and know that change is possible. The struggle for democracy deserves Western democratic support and Solidarity. He mocked the myth that people in the Arab countries deserve and need only authoritarian rule. Poverty has nothing to do with the new awareness.
A successful seminar on Thursday 20th March 2014 was held at the Queen Mary, University of London as part of the inauguration of Critical Platform, which provides a space for dialogue, debate and networking. Held in partnership with The Cordoba Foundation, the seminar refected on the three years of unprecedented changes in the Middle East and North Africa, ranging from free and fair elections to the violent suppression of change.
Helping shed light on the topic, a distinguished panel comprising of Dr Maha Azzam, chair of Egyptians for Democracy UK; Oliver McTernan, Director of Forward Thinking, and Dr Anas Altikriti, CEO of The Cordoba Foundation addressed the topic from numerous angles and took questions from the foor.
Since the start of the Arab Revolutions three years ago, the Middle East and North Africa has witnessed a kaleidoscope of dramatic developments. These range from free and fair elections to the violent suppression of change. important questions abound regarding the present and future scenarios such as addressing the festering crises in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere.
Join the timely seminar to explore further with the following experts:
Dr Maha Azzam – Associate Fellow, MENA Programme, Chatham House
Oliver McTernan – Director of Forward Thinking
Dr Omar Ashour – Lecturer in Middle East politics and director of the Middle East graduate studies program, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, Exeter Universty
The above event, jointly hosted by The Cordoba Foundation and the Enough Coalition Against Islamophobia, took place on 11th February 2014 at the London Muslim Centre, London. It was part of the Cordoba Seminars series, which analysis issues and developments in the arena of research, dialogue and current affairs.
Moderated by William Barylo, Research Assistant at The Cordoba Foundation, the event was opened by welcoming remarks by Dilowar Khan, Executive Director of the London Muslim Centre (LMC), and Abdullah Faliq, Head of Research at The Cordoba Foundation. Khan explained how the LMC has been targeted by racists and extremists connected to the English Defence League who were trying to create tensions in the community. Faliq echoed the same and added that the recent attempt by the so-called Christian Patrols to protest outside the East London Mosque were trying to stoke-up religious tensions, namely between Christian and Muslims.
Following the introductions, Konrad Pedziwiatr, an Assistant Professor at the Tischner European University in Krakow, Poland delivered his presentation. Pedziwiatr holds a PhD in Social Sciences from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), MA in European Studies from Exeter University, UK. and an MA in Sociology from the Jagiellonian University, Poland. He is a member of the American Sociological Association and the International Society for the Sociology of Religion. Konrad is also a Pierre et Marie Curie Research Fellow at the University of Bradford, UK. His research interests comprise sociology of migrations, religions, cultures, ethnicities and questions of identity and citizenship at a transnational level. He has published widely on various dimensions of Muslim presence in Europe and was featured as an expert in William Barylo’s documentary, “Polish Muslims: an Unexpected Meeting”.
Pedziwiatr started his presentation by presenting relevant concepts of sociological citizenship in relation to cultural diversity and religion. As some authors do not necessarily agree with the inclusion of religion as part of citizenship (Hobbes, Hollenbach), others find it helpful (Verba, Putnam, Weithman) to offer a so-called “good” life to society.
Some European Muslim thinkers (e.g. Tariq Ramadan) urge Muslims to participate in the social life of their societies, rending them as active citizens. This is a vision most young European Muslims agree with, which has backed-up by Pedziwiatr’s fieldwork, participant observation and through interviews, although a minority fall into what he calls “an uncompromising religiosity”.
Pedziwiatr stressed that Islamophobia is widespread even in areas with an extreme minority of Muslims like Poland (0.1% of the population). More paradoxically, people from these areas, according to statistics, tend to have a more negative image of migrants in general and Muslims in particular. Pedziwiatr calls this phenomenon “Platonic Islamophobia,” as people are afraid of Muslims, even if they have never met one in person. He regards that the Polish media as one of the most important factors to the spread of Islamophobia in this context, as they mainly relate sensational events, even if not linked to Poland or to international events, for example so-called Muslim Patrols in London. He drew a parallel with a similar situation in Hungary where nationalists protested against the Jewish community.
Pedziwiatr concluded his presentation saying that in spite of the climate of fear, suspicion and challenges faced by Muslims, key Muslim figures are active in the public sphere such as in the political scene. These Muslim elites can be a motivational factor to younger generations that could perhaps emerge in the future, and this trend may intensify in the near future.
The roundtable was attended by students, academics, policy-makers, media and activists from all faiths and none. The presentation was followed by a dynamic session of questions and answers. The audience was content to find a topic of common interest and an intelligible scientific analysis.