Ian Linden Saif Ahmed
Ian Linden is Professor in the Department of Religious Studies, SOAS
, and has been involved in development work for many years with a particular interest in Africa. He has a long-standing interest in Christian-Muslim relations
with experience arising out of the work he has done in Northern Nigeria, Yemen, Somaliland and Iran. Recently, he has been instrumental in Muslim development agencies such as Islamic Relief
gaining 'partner' status from the British government.
Saif Ahmed founded what is possibly the only UK Muslim-led multi faith organisation, Faith Regen Foundation, which brings together expertise and network connections within the Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Sikh and Jewish communities. This organisation continues to be successful in working with minority communities in getting people into work and to become active citizens of the UK as part of strong multi faith communities.
In 2006, Saif was headhunted for the post of Chief Executive of Muslim Aid, an international humanitarian and development agency. He built partnerships between Muslim Aid and a range of organisations and funders including DfID, UN agencies, ECHO and United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). The partnership with US-based UMCOR was recognised by the Prime Minister Gordon Brown MP as a good practice example of cross-faith cooperation.
Over the many years of working with Muslim and other faith communities and reflecting on the challenges of making multi-cultural and multi-faith societies work, I have come to the simple philosophy that it is by bringing people together in joint action which is rooted in and inspired by the values of their faith, that we find the way to overcome community tensions and create peaceful and prosperous societies.
This philosophy led me to establish a new organisation – MADE in Europe - focusing on working with young Muslims in the UK and more widely across Europe to mobilise them to get involved in tackling international issues such as poverty, climate change and conflict.
Saif’s experience within these organisations has enabled him to build extensive networks and contacts within the UK and on an international level both directly with Muslim and other-faith communities and with the organisations which represent them.
We are committed to fostering good relations between Christians and Muslims in the International context; in particular with reference to Africa and Iran. We aim to do this by bringing together different faith based international development agencies in order that their pooling of resources - material and human - can optimize the work of each. In the case of Iran, the Christian Muslim Forum works with other advocacy groups and attempts to stimulate discussion about Iran on the basis of the two faith traditions.
Publicity details for our seminar on Iran on 25 April 2007 here Confronting_Iran.pdf
Jabal Buaben - Lecturer in Islam at the Centre for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations (CSIC) at the University of Birmingham. He is also author of 'Image of the Prophet Muhammad in the West'.