Posts Tagged ‘Three Faiths Forum’

Climate Change hotting up

Young British Muslims and Christians hand over climate change statement to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State David Kidney MP.

In the lead up to the all important UN Climate Change Summit which will begin in Copenhagen on 7 December 2009, representatives of the Christian-Muslim Youth Forum on Climate Change (CMYF) handed over their statement on climate change to the Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy & Climate Change, David Kidney MP.

The CMYF was created by the Christian-Muslim Forum and MADE in Europe to give young people a voice in the climate change debate.  On 15 October 2009, 30 young Christians and Muslims met at Lambeth Palace and, hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, developed a statement on climate change. The statement has been supported by nearly 760 individuals from across the UK and internationally and endorsed by many faith and community organisations including Three Faiths Forum, Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), WasteWatch and Eco-Chip.

At the statement handover event on 1 December 2009, David Kidney MP applauded the initiative taken by the CMYF to put pressure on the Government to play a leading role in Copenhagen. He noted that faith communities throughout history have often taken the lead in tackling global issues and urged the young people to continue to raise awareness in their communities and to lobby the government.

Representatives of the CMYF will be travelling to Copenhagen with MADE in Europe where they will join campaigners from many other countries and demonstrate to the world’s leaders that people from diverse backgrounds have come together on this issue to demand justice.

Christian-Muslim Youth Forum on Climate Change (CMYF) has been set up by MADE IN Europe and the Christian Muslim Forum to give young British Muslims and Christians an opportunity to inform the climate change agenda in the run up to the UN Summit in Copenhagen, which will take place in December 7-18th 2009.

The Wave

Don’t forget The Wave on Saturday 5 December.

Our partner

We are pleased to be working with MADE in Europe (Muslim Agency for Development & Enterprise), an innovative UK-based organisation working to tackle global poverty. Made in Europe’s mission is to inspire and enable a grassroots European Muslim youth movement of faith in action for tackling global poverty, injustice and inequality through activities such as volunteering, campaigning and fundraising.  MADE in Europe also provides capacity building services for Muslim NGOs and support for cross-faith initiatives in international development.

Sarah Atkinson, MADE and Julian Bond, Christian Muslim Forum

Reflections on Inter Faith Week

The Launch

Inter Faith Week is not yet over but today seems a good time to reflect on what has happened so far. For me, and many others, Inter Faith Week began with a launch event on 12 November in London, many regional and national organisations had displays. There was a tremendous sense of energy and celebration as we shared our stories and details of our events. Some of the other organisations with an interest in Christian-Muslim relations are: St Ethelburga’sThree Faiths ForumUnited Religions InitiativeSt Philip’s Centre.

The highlight of the event was a series of brief speeches by young people of different faiths sharing their thoughts and experiences of inter faith which were truly inspirational and filled us with hope for what the next generation might achieve.

Faith Leaders Meeting

The second event I attended was a meeting of faith leaders and trustees of the Inter Faith Network at Lambeth Palace on 16 November. A statement was agreed and signed, these are the key points:
  • We believe that good inter faith relations are a vital part of a harmonious, just and respectful society.
  • We pledge, today, to deepen our work to increase understanding about and between our faiths and to strengthen our cooperation on social issues.
  • We renew our commitment to developing effective and long term ways of dialogue and mutual learning.
  • While our great religious traditions are distinct in belief and practice, there is much that unites us.
  • We will work to tackle with renewed determination the challenges of poverty, ignorance, injustice, crime and violence, and social fragmentation and to help shape a society where all feel at home; all are valued and justly treated; and all have a chance to thrive.

Interfaith Day

The most ground-breaking event of the week took place at London Central Mosque (Regents Park). The Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB), in collaboration with Lambeth Palace, organised an Interfaith Day. A central mosque is a mosque for the city, perhaps having a role similar to a cathedral, it is an open and welcoming space. The event itself showed the commitment of the Muslim community to improving inter faith relations by highlighting how this modern idea is integral to Islam since its earliest days. Some extracts from speeches by Muslims:
  • Maulana Mohammad Khan – ‘Islam lived in an inter faith community and started out by respecting other communities, our faith is not complete if we do not respect other beliefs, their scriptures and symbols.’
  • Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin – ‘Inter faith is not a hollow and secular initiative, it cannot be faith-less, we should learn from what other faiths have to offer, we cannot be adversarial. All faiths bring an enormous value to our lives. Christianity is a defining force for this civilisation. Differences of religion are the plan of God and it will remain so forever.’
  • Said Ferjani – ‘Dialogue is the engine of all the prophets – Jesus dialogued with everyone – it is the pillar of any genuine faith.’
  • Sayyed Mohammed Mousawi – ‘Islam is based on the best inter faith foundation, the Prophet Muhammad, who said, “be good to every human being”. Inter faith is the way of true religion, we need a movement of inter faith and should invite people to our mosques. We need to make inter faith a lively truth in our lives.’
  • Dr Ahmed Al Dubayan, newly appointed Chair of MINAB’s interfaith committee and Director General, London Central Mosque – ‘We need to build more bridges of understanding and dialogue. The alternative is misunderstanding, hate and ultimately terror.’
  • Fuad Nahdi, Radical Middle Way – ‘Listening is OK but dialogue is more advanced, it is not just tea, cucumber sandwiches and samosas. It is time for convergence not conversion.’

We look forward to telling you about our own Peace Worker’s experiences during Inter Faith Week next week.

Another ongoing initiative

Please sign up to our Christian-Muslim statement on climate change.

Julian Bond