Shari’ah – What everyone needs to know

Shari’ah – What everyone needs to know

In Shariah: What Everyone Needs to Know®, John Esposito and Natana DeLong-Bas offer an accessible and thorough guide to this little-understood, but often caricatured system. By answering the questions that so many people have about Shariah and its role in Muslim life, this book makes an invaluable contribution to the crucial task of fostering mutual understanding in our globalizing, pluralistic societies.


Unlike the Charlie-Hebdo and the kosher store attacks in January 2015, the perpetrators this time targeted public places, chosen not for their symbolic character, but ordinary people out on a Friday night. The intent: to inflict maximum casualties and victims as well as disrupting ordinary life. Sadly, the perpetrators were largely successful.


John L. Esposito is University Professor, Professor of Religion and International Affairs of Islamic Studies, and Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. His more than 50 books include What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam, The Future of Islam, and Who Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think . His writings have been translated into more than 40 languages.


Natana J. DeLong-Bas is the author of Islam: A Living Faith, Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad, and Notable Muslims: Muslim Builders of World Civilization and Culture. She is Editor-in-Chief of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women. DeLong- Bas teaches Theology and Islamic Civilizations and Societies at Boston College.


Provides both historical and contemporary coverage on a wide range of disciplines

We are a welcoming Europe

We are a welcoming Europe

Millions have stood up to help.

Europe’s citizens are its biggest strength and the key to change the current political impasse on migration. We are coming together to launch a European-wide campaign in order to put pressure on politicians, in particular as part of the 2019 European Parliament elections, and put forth our demands.

We want the European Commission to directly support local groups that are willing to welcome and integrate refugees because we should have the chance to sponsor refugees.

We want the European Commission to stop those governments that are punishing volunteers because no one should be prosecuted for offering humanitarian help and shelter.

We want the European Commission to guarantee more effective ways to defend victims of exploitation, crime and human rights abuses in our countries and at the borders because everyone in Europe – whatever their status – has the right to seek justice.

The initiative claims that citizens across Europe want to sponsor refugees to offer them a safe home and a new life.

Visit the website


FOE NOT FRIEND Yemeni Tribes and Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)

FOE NOT FRIEND Yemeni Tribes and Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)

Yemeni tribes as collective entities have not backed or allied with AQAP, agreed to give its fighters safe haven, or endorsed its radical ideology; to the contrary, tribes have tended to see the group as a potentially serious challenge to their authority

This timely report by Nadwa Al-Dawsari unpacks the dynamics between tribes and AQAP to explain that Yemeni tribes are not an inherent part of the problem, but instead could represent a key to countering the group effectively. The report describes the evolution of al-Qaeda in Yemen since the late 1980s; what tribes are, the government’s relations with tribes, and tribes’ governance and value systems; and AQAP-tribal interactions before and during the civil war, when some tribes have coordinated with AQAP against the Houthis, a common enemy.

The report goes on to discuss how the excessively militarised U.S. counterterrorism approach has worsened some of the conditions on the ground that fuelled al-Qaeda in Yemen in the first place.

Finally, the report offers four broad recommendations for U.S. policy including 1) Work to end the war as soon as possible; 2) Do not wait until the end of the war, however, to help Yemenis strengthen security and improve living conditions; 3) Limit the use of airstrikes and raids against AQAP, especially in areas where clashes between Houthis and tribes are ongoing; and 4) Explore the possibility of rehabilitation for some tribesmen who joined AQAP for economic, political, or social reasons, not out of ideological commitment.

AQAP exploited the security vacuum created when Yemen’s military and security forces split into pro-and anti-Saleh factions, or simply disintegrated.

Download report


Europe’s Growing Muslim Population

Europe’s Growing Muslim Population

Muslims are projected to increase as a share of Europe’s population  even with no future migration.


In recent years, Europe has experienced a record influx of asylum seekers fleeing conflicts in Syria and other predominantly Muslim countries. This wave of Muslim migrants has prompted debate about immigration and security policies in numerous countries and has raised questions about the current and future number of Muslims in Europe.


To see how the size of Europe’s Muslim population may change in the coming decades, Pew Research Center has modeled three scenarios that vary depending on future levels of migration. These are not efforts to predict what will happen in the future, but rather a set of projections about what could happen under different circumstances.


The baseline for all three scenarios is the Muslim population in Europe (defined here as the 28 countries presently in the European Union, plus Norway and Switzerland) as of mid-2016, estimated at 25.8 million (4.9% of the overall population) – up from 19.5 million (3.8%) in 2010.


Even if all migration into Europe were to immediately and permanently stop – a “zero migration” scenario – the Muslim population of Europe still would be expected to rise from the current level of 4.9% to 7.4% by the year 2050. This is because Muslims are younger (by 13 years, on average) and have higher fertility (one child more per woman, on average) than other Europeans, mirroring a global pattern.


Amount of growth in Europe’s Muslim population depends on future migration





Saturday 10 March, 2018

International Conference

Yemenis arose in the 2011 Arab Spring in a revolt against the regime. Since 2014, the ongoing political strife has erupted into a full-blown humanitarian catastrophe, claiming hundreds of thousands of civilians due to armed violence, starvation, and the worst outbreak of cholera in history, affecting millions, including 600,000 children.

Through the commentary and analysis of experts and academics, The Cordoba Foundation attempts to shed light on one of the most tragic conflicts that has far-reaching implications beyond the Middle East.

Reflections on the Paris Attacks

Reflections on the Paris Attacks

The attacks in Paris on Friday 13 November 2015 were the worst on French soil since 1945, where more than 125 people died and hundreds more injured. And among the dead and the maimed were a number of Muslims. For the first time, the country was confronted by suicide bombers in the heart of Paris.


Unlike the Charlie-Hebdo and the kosher store attacks in January 2015, the perpetrators this time targeted public places, chosen not for their symbolic character, but ordinary people out on a Friday night. The intent: to inflict maximum casualties and victims as well as disrupting ordinary life. Sadly, the perpetrators were largely successful.


Emotions in France and around the world are understandably deep and very palpable now. However as we reel from the magnitude and soreness of what just happened, we should not shy away from asking tough questions: Who stands to benefit from these attacks? What are the immediate effects and risks to us? What consequences can we anticipate and how best can we respond both at the domestic and international levels?


One very likely risk from the attacks is that the French may be pushed to blame Muslims in France for the actions of a few suspected deranged Muslims. Their actions will no doubt play into the hands of the National Front which is already on the ascendency in the country. With regional elections in December, the National Front has a high chance of coming out as the winner in the elections. This is especially the case in regions like the Provence Côte d’Azur or Nord, where if they succeed, they will gain considerable political and financial clout.


Right wing parties, and especially the Les Républicains led by Nicolas Sarkozy, are calling for proposals and laws that can only be described as draconian and undemocratic to provoke and sow divisions in French society. They are demanding that thousands of “suspected Islamists” be placed under house-arrest; they are asking for the adoption of a French version of the American Patriot Act of 2001 (“Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism”).


The French government has already installed a “state of emergency” and put under house-arrest over a hundred people. In the immediate aftermath of the Paris attacks, we have witnessed a surge in attacks targeting mosques, Islamic centres and adherents of the Islamic faith in France and in other parts of Europe.


It is well-known that that one of the aims of the so-called Islamic State, better termed as Daesh, is “the extinction of the grey zone” i.e. to polarise Western society by provoking Islamophobia. In Daesh’s official magazine, Dabeq, it states:

“Muslims in the crusader countries will find themselves forced to abandon their homes and live under the Khilāfa [caliphate], as the crusaders increase persecution of the Muslims residing in Western lands. [..] Eventually, the grey zone will become extinct and there will be no place for greyish calls and movements. There will only be the camp of Iman [faith in Allah] versus the camp of kufr [disbelief]”. We should not fall into this trap.


France is also a key target of the extremists like Daesh because it, along with the United States, is the most engaged militarily from Mali to Syria, and from the Central African Republic to Iraq. But its policy is incoherent and we should critically review the “war on terror” promulgated immediately after the September 11 attacks and re-launched after the capture of Mosul by Daesh in the summer of 2014. The failure of the War on Terror strategy is obvious: there have been more attacks, not less and very often in Muslim countries themselves. Within the last few weeks, we have witnessed bombings in the Turkish city of Ankara; the attack on a Russian-operated plane that came down over the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, killing all 224 people on board; and suicide attacks in Beirut in a popular suburb.


Never have so many people, especially the youth, been more engaged in extremist and violent groups like al-Qaida or Daesh, committed to what they believe is a resistance to international aggression against Muslims the world-over.


We should try to decipher the dynamics on the ground and grasp the context that render the Middle East a complex geography and reality. In this sense, it is unhelpful for pundits to simply reduce the current crisis in the region to solely Daesh. Rather, we must address the problems of poverty, education, foreign meddling, development, etc.


Is it not high time to think about the region as a whole and not only in military terms? We must confront Daesh to rid the world from its menace, but this can’t be achieved through bombing only. Instead, privileging a political solution is likely to yield in better results – and hopefully more lasting for a region that has been characterised by a spiral of chaos and instability especially since the US intervention in Iraq in 2003.


It is time too to push all regional powers, which have in their own way, compounded the Syrian conflict. The Vienna meeting which saw the participation of all these powers is perhaps a step in the right direction. It is also high time to robustly push for the solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by ending the occupation. And last but not least, we should reconsider the demands voiced by the masses during the Arab Spring and the fulfilment of these demands is the best route to stability for the long-run.


Prioritising diplomacy and political solutions over bombings is the best strategy for France.


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*A French journalist, Dr Alain Gresh is former editor of Le Monde diplomatiqueand the current editor of (online magazine). A specialist on the Middle East, he is president of the Association of French journalists specialised on the Maghreb and the Middle East (AJMO). His books include The PLO, The Struggle Within (Zed Books, London, 1986), Un péril islamiste? (Complexe, Bruxelles, 1994), Israël-Palestine, vérités sur un conflit (Fayard, Paris, 2001). He co-authored, with Dominique Vidal, An A to Z to the Middle East (Zed, 1990, and I B Tauris, 2004); Palestine 1947, un partage avorté (Complexe, Bruxelles, 1987); Golfe: Clefs pour une guerre annoncée (Le Monde éditions, Paris, 1990); andL’Islam, la république et le monde (Fayard, 2004). Gresh co-authored, with Didier Billion, Actualités de l’Etat palestinien (Complexe, Bruxelles, 2000) and, with Françoise Germain-Robin et Tariq Ramadan, L’Islam en questions (Actes-Sud/Sindbad, 2000).

An Audience with Arno Arr Michaelis IV – Former White Supremacist Leader

An Audience with Arno Arr Michaelis IV – Former White Supremacist Leader

East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre invitation to:

An Audience with Arno Arr Michaelis IV – Former White Supremacist Leader

Arno Michaelis was a leader of a worldwide racist skinhead organisation, a reverend of a self-declared Racial Holy War, and lead singer of the hate-metal band Centurion, which sold 20,000 CDs by the mid-nineties and is still popular with racists today.

Thursday 5th November, 2015
6:30pm – London Muslim Centre, 46 Whitechapel Road, London E1