When Pope Benedict recently delivered a lecture and managed to find the time and space to take a swipe at Islam, the Prophet Mohammed and effectively every Muslim, he must have expected the kind of reaction that followed across the Muslim world. If he hadn’t, then he has either been on another planet these last few years or he shouldn’t be in the high position he is.
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In this edition, we look at the challenge of dialogue
The Cordoba Foundation (TCF) held its official launch yesterday, exactly one year on fro the tragic London bombings, at the illustrious Islam Expo event at Londesborough Room in Alexandra Palace – London.
Attended by a distinguished line-up of experts and scholars, including Professor Tariq Ramadan, Professor John Esposito, Dr Unaiza Malik from the Muslim Council of Britain and former Iraq hostage and Christian peace-maker, Dr. Norman Kember, the launch sent out a strong and uniform message of promoting dialogue and understanding between cultures, societies and thoughts.
Welcoming a very diverse audience consisting of experts, academics, scholars, the press and faith leaders, the founder and Chief Executive of The Cordoba Foundation, Anas Altikriti explained the rationale in choosing the name ‘Cordoba’ and why “we should learn from the rich history of Cordoba in Spain where communities of diverse religious and ideological backgrounds lived in harmony.”
He stressed that “the civilisation that emerged from Cordoba, is not unique in itself, but is also a beacon of hope for all of us today; hence the launch of The Cordoba Foundation.”
Dr Norman Kember gave a poignant presentation about his experience in captivity in Iraq and the lessons learned from it; he stressed “the need for nonviolent methods in conflict resolution.” He also expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Muslim community for the overwhelming support rendered towards him for his release from captivity and thanked the organisers of the launch, saying ‘I am delighted to be amongst this esteemed audience today.”
Professors Tariq Ramadan and Jon Esposito reinforced the need to dialogue and promote understanding. They both talked about the historical roots of dialogue in Britain (and Europe) and the myth of the clash of civilisations, both emphasizing the need to avoid the dialectic of ‘us and them’, which was the cause of conflicts and tensions between communities.
One year on from the July 7 bombings, we have some perspective on how our society is facing up to the challenges of a common future. From that tragic morning on which dozens were killed in a cruel act of murder to the recent arrests of two young Muslims, one of whom was shot, in east London, and the prime minister’s demands that Muslims should do more, it’s clear that relations between the Muslim community and society as a whole could be better, to say the least.
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This edition talks about an initiative of human reconciliation
The Cordoba Foundation (TCF) will hold its official launch on the 7th of July 2006, exactly one year on from the tragic London bombings, at the illustrious IslamExpo event at Alexandra Palace in London.
With the objectives of promoting the process of dialogue, providing unique insights of potential interaction and exchange between cultures, ideologies and intellects as well as training a new crop of specialists in the various fields of concern, TCF hopes to work hand-in-hand with other organisations and centres to promote better appreciation and understanding of ‘the other’.
A distinguished line-up of experts will be speaking or attending the launch, including Professor Tariq Ramadan, Professor John Esposito, and former Iraq hostage and Christian peace-maker, Dr. Norman Kember.
Explaining the objectives of TCF, Mr. Anas Altikriti, Chief Executive and founder said: “in light of recent events, some have pushed the argument of the impossibility of a peaceful and constructive co-existence between the West and the Muslim World. However, not so long-ago, we experienced what was arguably one of the most splendid examples of unprecedented human advancement where communities of diverse religions, ideas and cultures not only co-existed, but also excelled in all walks of life. The civilisation which emerged from Cordoba, is not unique in itself, but is also a beacon of hope for all of us in these
difficult and trying times”.
This is a bi-monthly periodical
One of the problems of today’s analysis of the terrorist threat is the tendency to over-simplify the diagnosis. George Bush did it when hewarned the world after 9/11: “You are either with us or with the terrorists.” Writers, analysts and academics continue to do it today when addressing the reasons why extremism, or at least sympathy with extremist ideologies, continues to rise. But despite overbearing and intrusive security measures, draconian terror laws that lock up suspects for weeks without charge, trial or legal representation, and wars fought with unprecedented might that claim the lives of hundreds of thousands, we still seem to be losing the battle for the hearts and minds of the young. Why?
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