Cordoba Heritage Series: Victoria and Abdul – The Story of a Queen and her Muslim Confidant

Cordoba Heritage Series: Victoria and Abdul – The Story of a Queen and her Muslim Confidant

The Cordoba Foundation is launching a new series of talks called ‘Cordoba Heritage Series‘ aimed at exploring, understanding and appreciating our common heritage and creative legacy to offer solutions to difficult questions of identity and belonging in today’s  ‘West’.  By exploring the shared history that acknowledges the many sources of western culture from the east, we recognise the history of empire as a history that belongs equally to all its heirs, of every race, faith and nation.

In June 1887 two Indian servants were sent to Queen Victoria as a present for her Golden Jubilee. One was the 24-year-old Abdul Karim.   Young Karim immediately caught the Queen’s eye and was rapidly promoted to become her Indian Secretary. He cooked her curries, became her Hindustani tutor and delighted the elderly Queen with his stories about India. She honoured him with titles, gave him houses in Windsor, Balmoral and Osborne and extensive land in Agra. He advised her on Indian politics and soon became the lonely monarch’s closest companion. Despite the objections of her family and courtiers, who even threatened to overthrow her on grounds of ‘insanity’, the Queen stood by Karim till her last days, and refused to let him go.

Victora & Abdul is the story of an unusual relationship between the Empress of India and a humble servant which flourished at a time when the British Empire was at its height. At its heart, it is a story of love and friendship in the midst of tensions and unease about the ‘Other’.

Venue: Initiatives of Change UK, 24 Greencoat Place, London, SW1P 1RD. (Click here for more directions on getting to the venue)

Date and time: Thursday 10th May 2012, 6.30pm

Roundtable Discussion: Islam in the Balkans

Roundtable Discussion: Islam in the Balkans

A roundtable discussion with
Dr Ahmet Alibašić – Bosnia-Herzegovina
Thursday 26 April, 2012
Islamic Forum of Europe (Meeting Room)
3rd Floor, Business Wing,
London Muslim Centre,
38 – 44 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1JX
Nearest tube: Whitechapel or Aldgate East.

Dr Ahmet Alibašić is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Islamic Studies in Sarajevo where he teaches Islamic culture and civilisation. He is also the director of the Center for Advanced Studies in Sarajevo. Dr Alibašić completed his doctorate at the Sarajevo University in 2011 researching Islamic opposition in the Arab World. He studied Arabic Language and Islamic Studies in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, later studying Islamic studies, political science, and Islamic civilisation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Dr Alibašić is actively involved in inter-religious dialogue and served as the first director of the InterReligious Institute in Sarajevo (2007-2008), which was jointly established by the Islamic Community, the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church, and Jewish Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina. From 2003 until 2007, he served as Deputy President of the Association of Islamic Scholars in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Dr Alibašić has authored and translated a plethora of books and articles, ranging from Islam and politics, Islamic movements, Islam in the Balkans, democratisation of the Muslim World, human rights, opposition legitimisation in Islam, to church-state relations in Europe and the United States.

An invitation-only event. Limited spaces.


Film Launch – Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football and the American Dream

Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football and the American Dream

Doors Open: 6:00 pm

Film Starts: 6:30 pm followed by a Panel Discussion till 9:00 pm




Join us for this first UK screening with Director Rashid Ghazi, Coach Fouad “Walker” Zaban, Former Principal of Fordson High Imad Fadlallah and the stars of the Fordson Tractors Football squad Ali Baidoun, Bilal Abu-Omarah, Baquer Sayed, Hassan Houssaiky.

Presented with support from The London Tigers and The Cordoba Foundation

Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football follows a predominately Muslim and Arab high school football team from a working-class Detroit suburb as they practice for their big cross-town rivalry game during the last ten days of Ramadan, revealing a community holding onto its Islamic faith while they struggle, under the dark clouds of growing anti-Muslim hatred, for acceptance in post 9/11 America.

Through the eyes of the team, their coaches, and their fans, Fordson offers an unprecedented glimpse inside the lives of a community that is home to the largest concentration of Arabs in any city outside of the Middle East, and their determination to share in and hold on to the American Dream.

Winner of…

Grand Jury Award for Best U.S. Documentary, 2011 Traverse City Film Festival

Best Documentary, 2011 Manhattan Film Festival

Special Grand Jury Award, 2011 Slamdance Film Festival

Special Jury Prize, 2011 DEADCenter Film Festival

Audience and Founders Award, 2011 Politics on Film Festival

Best Documentary Award, 2011 Detroit-Windsor Film Festival

Best Documentary, 2011 Land Lock Film Festival

Champion of the World Cup Film Awards

2011 Cine Golden Eagle Award

This screening is made possible by the generous support of the Cultural Attaché’s Office

For more details visit

Fordson Tour site coming soon to

Launch Event: An Introduction to Effective Lobbying & Campaigning

Launch Event: An Introduction to Effective Lobbying & Campaigning

As a sequel to Working with the Media guide released in 2008, this is the second in a series of training manuals produced by The Cordoba Foundation. The guide provides the targeted  readership with practical guidelines and tips to ‘up-skilling’ with the necessary information, tools and guidance to become not just active but proactive citizens – and ultimately to play a better and more effective role in society.

The guide aims to give our readers, in particular British Muslims, the knowledge and confdence to engage with lobbyists, politicians, campaigns and people of infuence to bring about changes – from addressing national and international issues by lobbying MPs and Ministers, to local issues such as services provided to the surrounding community and residential areas.


SAJJAD KARIM (Member of European Parliament) – Video

JEREMY CORBYN (MP for Islington North, London)

NEIL JAMESON (Director, London Citizens)
AISHA ALVI (Barrister) – Won the legal right to wear the headscarf in school.
MOAZZAM BEGG (Director, Cage Prisoners)
NABIL AHMED (President, Federation of Students Islamic Societies (FOSIS))

Moderator: ANAS ALTIKRITI (CEO, The Cordoba Foundation)

Date & Time : 1 March 2012, 6pm

Venue:  The Islamic Cultural Centre and The London Central Mosque, 146 Park Road, London NW8 7Rg (Nearest Tube – Baker Street)

Places Limited!!! Registration is essential!!!

To book your place, please click here (External website registration and ticket printing)

Poetry Masterclass & Performance: Mark Gonzales

Poetry Masterclass & Performance: Mark Gonzales

Following ongoing demand, internationally reknowned spoken word artist Mark Gonzales will make his UK debut with this poetry masterclass and performance in London, exclusively with Muslim Writers Awards.

Date: 18th January

Masterclass: 10am – 4pm (Senate House, Malet Street, WC1E)

Performance: 7pm – 9.30pm (D’Gaf, Stratford, E15)

Tickets: £25 (for masterclass and performance) / £10 (for performance)

Places are limited.  Booking essential at

This event is supported by The Cordoba Foundation

Forum: After the Riots

Forum: After the Riots

Organised by Initiatives of Change (IofC) UK, the Civil Society Forum and The Cordoba Foundation,

How best to understand and respond to the recent riots in England has been the cause of much debate and concern both with decision-makers and the media. The situation challenges us to consider what can be done to reverse the trends that cause such unrest and lead to a breakdown in ‘civil behaviour’ and also to recognise the positive response of those who came forward to mitigate the impact of the riots.mid-Firemen_in_action_at_Tottenham_riots.preview.jpg

Initiatives of Change (IofC) UK, together with the recently established Civil Society Forum and The Cordoba Foundation, plan to hold a one day forum to understand different perspectives on the underlying civic, moral, political and social challenges and explore what we can do individually and collectively in response.

The keynote address will be given by Dr Peter Selby, President of the National Council for Independent Monitoring Boards. He was previously Bishop of Worcester, Bishop to HM Prisons and a Church Commissioner. His book, Grace and Mortgage, opens people’s eyes to the corrosive effect of debt on the poor and the environment.

The Forum will be held at the IofC UK centre at 24 Greencoat Place, London SW1P 1RD on 1 February 2012. As individual citizens, communities, and NGOs and government organisations have been collecting thoughts and gathering together in and towards action, the event will bring people together to take the thinking further, share understanding and look at what can be done.

Double-deck_burning_in_2011_england_riots.preview.jpgWe will explore the underlying issues, particularly the challenge of re-engagement both practically and morally, approaches to tackling the main challenges, identify specific ways forward, and consider how all participants can make a contribution, individually and collectively.

The day will be a combination of inter-active presentations, and large and small group dialogue. It will create space to reflect and explore ways to tackle dis-enfranchisement and dis-engagement in civil society and include consideration of what stopped the violence starting and spreading in different areas

The forum will focus on seeing where we may need to build and adapt our approaches, and to find action that we can take in our own communities, and organisations.

The organisers are inviting individuals and groups including community and faith-based groups, NGOs and government organisations, who can make a particular contribution.

To ensure workable numbers for the venue and the participatory nature of the event, attendance will be by application. Notification will be given at least four weeks before the event.

If you wish to attend, download the application form and send to either Esther Risdale or Don de Silva

For more information about the event, please click here

Please click here for a briefing note on the riots

Conference: Guantanamo Remembered

On 11 January 2002, the first of nearly 800 prisoners was sent to the US military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay.  Images of these men kneeling and shackled, wearing orange boiler suits, goggled and masked, shocked the world.  Ten years on, 171 prisoners remain in captivity – all without due process.

Cageprioners, Reprieve and the Islamic Human Rights Commission would like to invite you to join an historic gathering to mark a decade of Guantanamo.

This event is supported by The Cordoba Foundation.

For more information or to book a place, please contact             0203 167 4416       or

Seminar: Behind Closed Doors

Seminar: Behind Closed Doors

Ten years ago, shortly after the 9/11 attacks, the British government passed laws allowing them to detain and imprison foreign “terrorism suspects” without charge or trial. By December 2001, almost a dozen Muslim men, mainly from Algeria, had been detained and later became known, with others, as the “Belmarsh detainees”. They were held without trial or charge for over three years until the courts ruled this system illegal in 2004. The men were released but things did not get better for them or their families… control orders were introduced in 2005 and others were subject to harsh bail restrictions after being threatened with deportation to their countries of origin – Algeria, Jordan and Libya. Tagged, with restrictions on their freedom, all without having any idea of the reason why, this has been the life of at least 18 individuals and families over the past decade, with no end in sight… 10 years of not knowing the accusations, of coming up against a wall of silence and secret evidence by the Home Office in court, not knowing if they will be deported to countries that will torture, of abuse, misuse and being ignored by the wider community. At the same time, the British government is seeking to replace the control order regime with new Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (T-PIMs), to broaden the number of countries so-called terrorism suspects can be deported to without knowing the reason why and to harshen its anti-terrorism laws.

Speakers include:

GARETH PEIRCE  – Human rights lawyer.

JEAN LAMBERT   – MEP (Green Party)

ANAS ALTIKRITI –  CEO, The Cordoba Foundation

BRUCE KENT     –  Vice President Pax Christi.

ASIM QURESHI   –  Executive Director, Cage Prisoners

Date & Time – Monday 19 December 2011 • 6pm – 9pm •
Venue – London Muslim Centre / 46 Whitechapel Road London E1 1JX.
Nearest tube: Aldgate East / Whitechapel.


Supported by:
Campaign Against Criminalising Communities
Cage Prisoners
Islamic Forum of Europe
Newham Monitoring Project
Federation of Students Islamic Societies
Peace & Justice in East London

For more information, please click here