Muslims from a diverse range of faith traditions came together on Saturday 29
June to affirm their commitment to Muslim unity and pluralism. The initiative
brought together leaders from a range of Islamic schools of thought, and from
both the Shia and Sunni branches of Islam.
document was signed by leaders and representatives of a number of organisations
from a cross section of Britain's Muslim community.
At a time of
deepening sectarian tension in the Middle East and Muslim world, this document
has been drawn up to warn and ward off any threat to cross-sectarian unity in
the United Kingdom. With Britain possessing one of the most diverse Muslim
communities on earth, this document is intended to provide an initial framework
for respect, dialogue and cooperation amongst Britain's Muslims.
information can be found here: http://www.mcb.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2350:intrafaithunity&catid=82:mcb-news
the statement, Farooq Murad, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain
said: "This document is a signal to
the British Muslim community and to the world that we will work hard to avoid
hatred and division. Everything else we seek to achieve as a community must
stem from this most basic respect for our fellow Muslims."
initiative, Yousif Al-Khoei, the Director of the Al-Khoei Foundation and
partner signatory said:
an important and historic step for our communities in the UK. We may have
different viewpoints and backgrounds, but it is important that Muslims come
together in agreement while managing their differences peacefully, rather than
resorting to hate speeches and conflict."
New Thinking on Extremism
In his annual
speech to the Muslim Council of Britain, Farooq Murad also outlined the
organisation's position regarding extremism, especially after the brutal
killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in May. Farooq Murad stressed again the
community's condemnation of this act, and noted the solidarity of communities
across the country, despite the rise in Islamophobic attacks.
He said: "In our view, extremism breeds not
within communities, but in their gaps and margins. In places where the webs and
safety nets of community that sustain dignity, self-worth, autonomy and
in the resilience and capacity of our communities is the surest guarantee that
we can stand up for who we are and what we believe in; that we can articulate
our grievances without being accused of disloyalty and face up to those who
seek to undermine our contribution to this society.
against the singling out of particular Mosques, Imams, charities, or student
societies. Difficult and frank
discussions need to take place and these cannot happen if certain opinions or
actors are proscribed before we even start the debate. Anyone who eschews
violence and wants to engage by democratic means should be encouraged to do so,
no matter how difficult their opinions may be for some."
stressed the point that the Muslim Council of Britain will not take any public
funds to counter extremism and will aim to establish a scholar's forum to
examine the issue.
Read the rest
of the extract here: