Posts Tagged ‘hate-crime’

Gathering of Scholars of the Abrahamic Faiths

Meeting of representatives of the Abrahamic faiths

The Islamic Centre of England convened an urgent meeting of representatives of the Abrahamic faiths (Islam, Christianity and Judaism) in order to condemn any disrespect and desecration of the Quran, the Islamic holy book.

A group of leaders and experts, from the Abrahamic religions, met on the 21st September at the Islamic Centre of England in order to express disgust and outrage towards the insulting and desecration of the Holy Quran which took place in America on 11th of September. They also discussed ways for an extended cooperation in order to protect common interests shared by followers of monotheistic religions.

The meeting which was aimed to approve a 10-point to “Safeguard our Common Values and Communities”…resolution, started with the recitation from the Holy Qur’an. Hujjatul-Islam wal Muslemin Moezi director of the Islamic Centre of England and representative of Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei in the UK, gave a warm welcome to the participants. In his address, he described the despicable insult to the Holy Qur’an as: “a conspiracy planned by the agents of international Zionism intent to create tension between Christians and Muslims by insulting the sanctities of Muslims, trying to incite their emotions with an increase in Islamophobia”. The head of Islamic Centre of England described the incident of the burning of the Qur’an as one in a long list of orchestrated attempts via films, cartoons and other media to undermine the sacredness of the heavenly religions and to belittle them to the extent that ordinary people would lose their interest in them.

Hujjatul-Islam wal Muslemin Moezi mentioned that despite the conspiracies of the enemies of Islam and the occupation of various Muslim countries by global arrogance, Muslims have come closer together showing more and more resentment against occupations especially by the Zionist regime in Palestine. He underlined the fact that Muslims, not only in the West, but throughout the world have a very good relationship with the follower of Abrahamic religions. He also hoped that meeting such as this, would expand and increase the peaceful cooperation among the followers of Abrahamic faiths in an effort to neutralize conspirators’ intent to create division in society.

The other participants also expressed their views regarding the need to protect moral values, common interests and the sacred celestial religions against the hatred and possible repetition of action such as the burning of the Qur’an.

The following is the resolution signed by all participants who in terms committed themselves to increase the number of signatories by introducing it to like-minded individuals.

The full text of the 10 point resolution as follows: Urgent Gathering of Scholars of the Abrahamic Faiths
“A Resolution to Safeguard
Our Common Values and Communities”
Tuesday 21st September 2010

1) We, scholars of the Abrahamic faiths and independent thinkers believe in our own belief systems as individuals and will stand united to uphold our common values for the common good; and

2) Although each faith upholds its own creed, beliefs and rituals, nevertheless, interfaith co-operation is vital in the field of humanitarian and human relationships issues. Indeed, it is a basic tenet of divine religious teachings to treat ones fellow man with the utmost compassion and consideration; and

3) Inherent in the compassionate treatment of ones fellow man, is the essential requirement at all times to ensure that ones words and actions in no way harm, hurt, insult or embarrass other individuals or groups within society. This requirement in turn includes the need to show complete respect for any matter held in esteem by them; and

4) Whereas, disrespect shown to religion is on the rise which contributes to a greater degree of insecurity and sense of danger by members of religious groups that can be distinguished by their dress or place of association; and

5) In the light of the above, we wish to express our rejection at the statements made by certain individuals and groups implying intention to burn copies of the Qur’an. Such flagrant insults can only incite ill feeling and strife between the groups within society instead of enhancing goodwill and peace, which should be the aim of all justice loving people; and

6) Whereas, such behaviour is discrimination against men or harassment of them because of their race, colour, condition of life, or religion; and

7) Whereas, the desecration of the places of worship and graves of religious groups have already been illegal as hate crimes and that the desecration of the books held holy by a religion is considered more seriously than the previously mentioned acts; and

8) We, on our part, are responsible to work and be concerned for the common good, towards preventing the spread of such incendiary kind of behaviour in our communities, which is incompatible with the principles of mutual coexistence and cohesion; therefore, be it

9) Resolved, that the participants representing the various religious groups in this roundtable gathering of scholars of the Abrahamic Faiths encourage its members to condemn all activity that insults all things held holy by the followers of any religion, in particular, the recent act of burning the Qur’an.

10) May we merit the time when the glory of the Almighty will be revealed over the whole universe and all mankind will be at peace with each other.

Good News for Eid

Giving Thanks at the end of Ramadhan

Eid, the feast at the end of Ramadhan, the Muslim month of fasting is a day of good news, the fast has been completed, a month of repentance has come to its conclusion, the whole of the Qur’an has been recited and the feast begins. It is often said that Eid is the Muslim equivalent of Christmas.
This Eid, 10 September 2010, the day before the 9th anniversary of 9/11 is a day of good news for another reason. Like many people travelling to work this morning I picked up the Metro (free UK newspaper) and read ‘Pastor cancels Koran bonfire after protests’. An answer to prayer just as I was preparing to load our statement about this onto the Christian Muslim Forum website. BBC news report.
Eid Mubarak!
Extracts from recent statements:
‘We fully endorse the Archbishop of Canterbury’s insistence that there is no place in our traditions for violent response.  The work of building up good understanding between Christians and Muslims remains as vital as ever.’  The Rt Revd Dr Richard Cheetham, Imam Dr Musharraf Hussain, OBE, DL, Co-Chairs, Christian Muslim Forum
The Archbishop of Canterbury, ‘At the present time our religious communities face many challenges and many provocations. In this country there are those who speak maliciously about religion in general and often against Islam in particular; demonstrations in many of our cities are intended to provoke; and in other parts of the world the threat to desecrate scriptures is deeply deplorable and to be strongly condemned by all people. These are challenges that we must respond to with a consistent message: that we oppose collectively all such provocations and insist that there is no place in our traditions for violent response. In solidarity with each other we will resist all attempts to induce violence by a constant message of peacefulness and reconciliation.’
Revd. Canon John Hall, Director of the St Philip’s Centre Leicester said, ‘The plan to burn the Holy Qur’an is a violation of our interfaith principles. As a Christian who is deeply involved in interfaith, I condemn this deplorable act. Christians and Muslims have a very strong joint track record of living and working together. Our scriptures share much in common.
Suleman Nagdi MBE DL of the Leicester Federation of Muslim Organisations added, ‘The burning of any religious scripture is a degrading act which all of us must speak out against. I have worked with Christians for a very long time and I know that they are very angry with this stunt. As Muslims it is part of our faith that we revere and respect all holy scriptures particularly the Torah, Psalms of David and the Hebrew Bible. I urge Muslims to act in the spirit of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and to show their disapproval through peaceful means. We can do this by continuing to work alongside our Christian cousins so that collectively we can overcome bigotry and prejudice.’
On behalf of the Christian Muslim Forum I hope that those who have held a copy of the Qur’an recently will take the time to learn more about Islam and find out that it does not condone terrorism, suicide bombing and enmity with people of other faiths.
Other messages
Friendship letter from Christians and Muslims at Lambeth Palace
Christian Muslim Forum’s Ethical Witness guidelines
Christian Muslim Forum’s Christmas statement
Julian Bond
Christian Muslim Forum

Communities Together Preventing All Forms of Hate

The theme for this initiative is “Communities Together Preventing All Forms of Hate”.  This is to highlight civic responsibility and engagement which chimes with the aims of many national organizations, including inter-faith forums. The Mosque and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) have teamed up with the Christian-Muslim Forum, local schools and other places of worship in initiative open for all sections of the community to take part in this unique event.

We hope that this event will help raise further awareness of all manifestations of hate crime and the burdens placed on society by them. We also hope that this approach helps rekindle a new sense of collective community responsibility to curb the spread of hate crime, renewing our conviction that all people, faiths and cultures are able to live together in peace and harmony.

In preparation for the launch of the campaign, young people from 12 local schools have participated in an art competition themed on showing positive messages to challenge all manifestations of a hate crime. The winner of the competition will have his/her drawings printed on T-Shirts that will be worn by pupils. Sarah Teather MP, the minister of State at the Department of Education has kindly agreed to present the award during the morning session of this event. I would be grateful if you could deliver a short speech in this session.

There will be another session in the afternoon where community and religious representatives will gather to support this initiative and show their united stand against all forms of hate crime. You will also have an opportunity to view the art exhibition, displaying the drawings drawn by the pupils. The event will end with a symbolic reception function, which I hope your time will allow you to take part in.

This is the statement that was agreed and signed on the day:

‘We the undersigned pledge to support together the ‘Communities Preventing Hate Campaign’ by taking a stand against all promotion and encouragement of hatred between and within communities, whether religious or non-religious. We declare that there is no place in a harmonious society for groups or factions who aim to divide and undermine – our strength and future lie in our unity. We, therefore, oppose all forms of hate-crime and incitement to hatred, including:

  • Vilification of religion, religious believers and non-religious value systems
  • Gang-crime and mischievous fostering of inter-community tensions
  • Abuse of the vulnerable
  • Any offensive and aggressive extremism
  • All words and actions which justify and glorify domestic and international terrorism

We are committed to working towards the goal of all faith, and non-faith, communities working together to promote a new sense of collective community responsibility. Our vision is that such community responsibility has the power to curb all manifestations and expressions of hate-crime. In signing this statement we renew our conviction and commitment that people of all faiths and no faith are able to live together in peace and harmony.’

This is the agreed statement