The Speaker of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, Osama Al Nujaifi, is set to visit Britain next week as part of an official visit. During his visit, Al Nujaifi will be meeting with Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, William Hague and other officials to discuss the latest developments in Iraq and challenges facing the region.
Al Nujaifi will be focussing on Iraq’s political reconstruction which will highlight the ‘Al Nujaifi Initiative’, which aims to bridge gaps between the different political voices in the Iraqi Parliament. The initiative aims to explore ways to strengthening a reconciled national partnership, and addressing Iraq’s relationship with its neighbours. Mr Al Nujaifi stresses the importance of such initiatives especially in the light of recent internal geopolitical conflicts in Iraq.
He will also be speaking at Chatham House about the future of Iraq and meeting with members of the British press.
In addition to official engagements, Mr Al Nujaifi will be visiting Oxford University, and speaking at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) about Iraq’s role in the recent changes that are sweeping the region. During his trip, he will be meeting numerous members of the Media and members of the Iraqi community in London.
The Cordoba Foundation will be handling his media and public relations service during his visit.
- To arrange interviews or for media coverage regarding the speaker’s visit, please contact Maryam Wissam, Media Officer on 07583 830080 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- For further information about the speaker’s visit, please contact Amjad Saleem, Head of Communications on 020 8991 3370 or email@example.com
The Cordoba Foundation (TCF) expresses its sadness at the untimely death of Shaykh Maymun Zarzur, the Imam at the Muslim Welfare House in North London after morning prayers on Friday 2nd September. Although the case is still being investigated by the police, it is believed that the Imam was killed in his office by a member of the community who was seeking Shaykh Zarzur’s counsel.
Commenting, CEO Anas Altikriti said: “Shaykh Zarzur was a much loved community leader and will be sorely missed. His tremendous efforts throughout the community despite his physical disability were renowoned and recognised by all those who came in touch with him. Faith leaders like the Shaykh are often the unsung heroes (and victims) who are at the front line on a daily basis dealing with complex issues”.
The Cordoba Foundation welcomes the calm and collected response to this tragic incident on the part of all concerned; the Muslim Welfare House administration and the local Muslim community. Their response in working together from the very first moment with the police investigation and the local authorities, and the manner in which the local council and MP Jeremy Corbyn responded and reacted to this incident is truly exemplary.
Our heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to the family, friends, and community of Shaykh Maymun Zarzur
On the joyous occasion of the completion of the Holy Month of Ramadan and the advent of Eid-ul-Fitr, The Cordoba Foundation takes this opportunity to wish you Eid Mubarak. May you enjoy peace, happiness and tranquility with your loved ones, friends and family during these blessed days.
On 8th of August, an article published in the Daily Mailslurred Dr Joel Hayward, the Dean of the Royal Air Force College in Britain and co-Director of the Royal Air Force Centre for Air Power Studies. This article sought to cast aspersions on his personal beliefs and opinions, in an effort to question his ability to discharge his duties as the Dean of the Royal Air Force College.
The Cordoba Foundation (TCF) has enjoyed working with Dr Hayward, especially in the production of a very important piece of work, “Qur’anic Concepts of the Ethics of Warfare: Challenging the Claims of Islamic Aggressiveness” as part of our Occasional Papers series. We strongly reject all claims that the article made as highly erroneous, irresponsible and entirely improper.
Anas Altikriti, CEO of TCF said “Dr Hayward is a respected academic and scholar who plays not only an important part in training future pilots with the RAF, but also in helping to improve the understanding of Islam and filling gaps. His work on “The Qur’anic Concepts of the Ethics of Warfare” was not only timely but addressed a number of key perceptions about Islam and Warfare. In it he clearly distinguishes between sound Islamic teachings about Jihad, warfare, relationship with non-Muslims and the misrepresentation by extremists with the fringes of the Muslim community”.
It is with regret that TCF perceives this amateurish and deeply personal attack on the character of Dr Hayward as nothing more than cheap and simple attempt to cast doubt on his competence and standing in the community. It also marks a worrying trend of castigating public figures who display their religiosity and voice their opinions on morals and ethics.
Notes to editors.
- The full article by Dr Joel Hayward on the “Qur’anic Concepts of the Ethics of Warfare: Challenging the Claims of Islamic Aggressiveness” can be accessed from here
The Cordoba Foundation (TCF) welcomes the publishing today of a crucial report by Spinwatch which examines two of the most key right-wing think-tanks involved in the debate on Islam, multiculturalism and extremism which are thought to have influenced the former Labour and the present Coalition Governments’ Prevent strategies (old and new); namely the Centre for Social Cohesion and Policy Exchange.
The report which was completed before the recent terrorist attacks in Norway, argues that right-wing think-tanks such as these, have understated the rise of Islamophobia on the far-right and in some cases have condoned the rise of groups such as the English Defence League because of their own links to the so-called ‘counter-jihad movement’. The report also warns that the policies that these think-tanks are promoting is likely to stigmatise and even criminalise politically active Muslims, as well as liberals and leftists, thereby risking the undermining of traditional freedoms enjoyed by churches, schools, universities and public libraries.
The report’s co-author, Professor David Miller of Strathclyde University said: “The policies advocated by the Centre for Social Cohesion and Policy Exchange detailed in the report inevitably mean the curtailment of civil liberties and the narroming of political debate. The consequences for British Muslims though will be even more severe”.
Anas Altikriti, Chief Executive of TCF stated that “this report comes out at an extremely timely moment, where the entire world and specifically European Societies are still reeling in the aftermath of the Norwegian terrorist masscre.”
TCF believes it is no longer acceptable to regard certain establishments beyond reproach, simply because of their considerable links with and influence upon government and policy makers, especially when they have been at the heart of a wide range of radical and often harmful policies concerning multiculturalism, Muslims and extremism in the UK.
“Not only should the government’s relationship with the media establishments be examined and reformed, but also its relationship with certain ideological establishments and think-tanks whose impact on policy is considerable and undeniable” added Altikriti.
Notes for the Editor:
- The full report can be downloaded here
- For a further copy of the report, enquiries or to arrange interviews with the report authors, please contact Amjad Saleem, Head of Communications on 020 8991 3370 or write to:firstname.lastname@example.org
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
شهر رمضان الذي أنزل فيه القرآن هدى للناس وبينات من الهدى والفرقان
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Faith and Humanity
As-Salaamu ‘Alaikum (Peace and Blessings be Upon You)
As the Holy Month of Ramadan once again blesses us with its presence we at The Cordoba Foundation would like to congratulate you on the advent of this Holy Month.
We are all travellers on the same journey, struggling to seek God’s pleasure. Ramadan is an opportunity for us to remember the many lessons to be learnt and taught on this journey.
A wise man once said, ‘Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In those choices lie our growth and happiness.’
Within this space, there is God and one’s heart, as the Qur’an reminds us: “...and know that [the knowledge of] God lies between the human being and his heart.” Such is the meaning of profound spirituality. Hence within this space everyone is asked to take up a dialogue of intimacy and sincerity with The Most-High. Within this space we marry the purpose of our existence with the purpose of our subsistence. Man is asked to acquire a force of being and doing rather than to undergo a despotic relentlessness of a life reduced to mere instinct. We are thus responsible for the actions we take.
At the heart of our consumer society, where materialism and individualism drive our daily lives, the Blessed Month of Ramadan reinforces our personal effort and commitment, invites us towards the deep horizons of introspection and meaning, reminds us of silence, restraint and remembrance, and inculcates the importance of detail, precision, rigour and discipline of practice.
The Blessed Month of Ramadan is a feast of the faith of fraternal atmosphere that is shared with all brothers and sisters, to portray the humility and compassion of the Prophet (saw) towards the downtrodden and distressed, irrespective of culture and creed. This year in particular as millions are suffering in East Africa due to famine; millions of people are affected by war and natural disaster and countless of our neighbors are struggling to make ends meet in times of economic hardship, let us realize the prophetic vision of a just world by reflecting it in our mindset, etiquette, and actions, so that we become 21st century ambassadors of the Prophet (saw): advocating justice, compassion and love for the whole of humanity.
Ramadan Mubarak and many happy and blessed returns
Chief Executive of The Cordoba Foundation
On the 18th of July, Nelson Mandela will be celebrating his 93rd birthday and in recognition of his courage and commitment to the cause of freedom and justice, this day has been recognised as Mandela Day, to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better.
In recognition of this, The Cordoba Foundation urges people to take action to inspire the change they wish to see in this world.
In setting the ethical framework of ‘service to one’s fellow human being’, the Mandela Day campaign message is about building a global movement for good.
In this day and age of great sorrow and strife, Mandela Day reminds us that individuals armed with moral power based on ethical principles can take responsibility to change the world to a better place, one small step at a time.
We are also reminded that there are a great many challenges ahead as Nelson Mandela famously said:
‘I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended’
Tell us of what you have done today to inspire and serve humanity and we will share this with the world.
Head of Research at The Cordoba Foundation and editor of Arches, Faliq was tasked by the foundation to deliver messages of support and sympathy to the victims of the genocide and their families. During his 10-day stay, Faliq met a number of survivors and victims of the war, as well as visiting various sites and projects throughout the country. He met representatives from the Islamic Community of Bosnia-Herzegovina, namely the Grand Mufti Dr Mustafa Ceric; Katheryne Bomberger, Director-General of the International Commission on Missing Persons as well as its Chief Operating Officer Adam Boys; Professor Enes Karic, Faculty of Islamic Studies – Bosnia-Herzegovina; and Sehija Dedovic, An-Nahla Women’s Centre.
Reflecting on his trip, Faliq said “despite visiting Bosnia several times and having lead numerous delegations, every visit for me is very emotional and inspirational. It’s emotional because of the sheer tragedy and shock suffered by the Boshniaks (Bosnian Muslims), namely the Srebrenica genocide. But it is also very inspirational witnessing the strong resolve of the people to live normal and dignified lives despite the dark past.”
Ahead of the memorial, the foundation’s CEO Anas Altikriti spoke of hope and peace despite the gruesome reality witnessed in Srebrenica and other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina: “the Srebrenica Memorial Day provides a timely reminder to us all of the challenges that can only be met in a sense of togetherness and community.”
The Cordoba Foundation released a special edition of the Occasional Papers series, in commemoration of the Srebrenica Memorial Day. The publication featured two important articles by the Grand Mufti titled “Spiritual Revolution: The Challenge for the 21st Century”, and by Professor Enes Karic, “Who is the ‘Other’ Today?”
As the Srebrenica Memorial Day anniversary on the 11th of July approaches its 16 year, we are once again reminded of the lengths that man could potentially go to when immersed in a state of fear, hatred and division.
The Memorial Day puts to rest any naivety that the lessons of the past have not only been learned, but well and truly headed. Not only are human beings chronically capable of committing the most repugnant of acts against fellow human beings, regardless of the advancement of time, the catalysts for these crimes are invariably similar whatever the different and unique circumstances of each.
Though recent court rulings and the capture of Ratko Mladic are bringing about some closure to a painful period of history in this region, it should not be underestimated that the most heinous of crimes committed against particular people of faith, race, creed or colour in generations gone by could never be committed again. These remain dynamic challenges for us to overcome.
However the past should not become a ball and chain for the future. There is a need to provide humanity with a space for personal and social transformation. There is a need to work towards higher values and ethics that concern human nature and purpose, leading to peace and harmony with one and others) and towards building understanding based on common features in a language understood by most people.
The Cordoba Foundation has been working tirelessly to raise awareness of the threat man poses against his fellow man, should particular conditions become established on the ground. Whether Srebrenica, Auswitz, Rwanda, Gaza, Kashmir or Somalia, and whether in the last century, this or the one coming, injustice establishes fear which breads suspicion and ultimately hatred. From there, the
move on to violence is neither a difficult nor inconceivable step to undertake.
Our objective is to work in common collaboration to remove the very initial elements on that tragic path, and to counter the root causes for clashes based on false and misguided understanding and implementation of the concepts of ‘self’ and ‘the other’.
The Srebrenica Memorial Day provides a timely reminder to us all of the
challenges that can only be met in a sense of togetherness and community.
To mark the 16th Anniversary of the Srebrenica Memorial Day, The Cordoba Foundation is releasing a special edition of the Occasional Papers, dedicated to Srebrenica, by two distinguished people, the Grand Mufti of Bosnia Dr Mustafa Ceric and Professor Enes Karić, professor of Qur’anic Studies at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, Bosnia. The issues raised in the two articles provide timely reflections and observations on human relations, of dialogue between people and cultures as well as the attendant challenges of a spiritual revolution today. The report can be downloaded from here
A special sermon given by the Mufti of Bosnia, can be downloaded from here