As thousands converge in Potocari today for the funeral prayers of over 400 bodies and the 19th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, 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.
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, Myanmar 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.
The Cordoba Foundation and Islamic Forum of Europe are issuing this special sermon from the Mufti of Bosnia Herzegovinia on this occasion
Arab Organisation for Human Rights and Palestine Solidarity Campaign
ISRAEL’S “ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION” POLICY AND THE PLIGHT OF PALESTINIANS ON HUNGER STRIKE
Addressing the dire plight of nearly 200 Palestinians in Israeli jails on hunger strike (for over 50 days), protesting against their detention without charge or trial under Israel’s “administrative detention” policy. Shackled, tortured (including sexual), and poor treatment, many are on the verge of death.
This is a call to the international community to give voice to the voiceless and victims of human rights abuses in Israeli jails.
Tuesday 24 June, 2014
The British Library – 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB
Nearest tubes: Kings Cross / Euston
Clare Short – Secretary of State for International Development, 1997- 2003.
Sir Gerald Kaufman – Member of Parliament
Toby Cadman – International Criminal Law Specialist.
Victoria Brittain – British journalist; author of Hidden Lives, Hidden Deaths and Death of Dignity.
Sarah Colborne – Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Mohammed Jamil – Director, Arab Organisation for Human Rights (UK)
The Cordoba Foundation convened a timely and important seminar at the Royal Overseas League, Green Park in London, which analysed the British Prime Minister’s decision to conduct a “review” into the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain. The seminar examined the motivations and the potential outcomes of the review.
A distinguished panel comprised of Lord Ken Macdonald QC, journalist Peter Oborne, Dr Maha Azzam, Chair of Egyptians for Democracy UK, Mona al-Qazzaz, Muslim Brotherhood spokeswoman and Dr Anas Altikriti, CEO of The Cordoba Foundation, addressed the topic from numerous angles and took questions from the floor.
The packed audience included academics, policy-makers, reporters and journalists, diplomats, campaigners, and faith and community leaders.
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.
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.