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Archive for July, 2010

Millenium Development Goals and Civil Society

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on July 25, 2010

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7-7 Muslim Perspectives by Murtaza Shibli

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on July 4, 2010


British Muslims give condolences, and provide findings for future resilience

Our first thoughts and prayers are for those remembering loved ones and friends lost or injured in the 7 July 2005 London bombings. This was the worst act of domestic terrorism Britain has ever experienced.  The shock of finding that the perpetrators were young apparently well integrated British Muslims has caused many to question the role of Muslims in the UK.

The July 7 bombings affected British Muslims in an unprecedented way as questions about their loyalty, Britishness and the nature of their  belonging in our society created endless discussion, academic research, government interventions and media speculation.

Today we add substance and authenticity to the debate. For the first time, 25 British Muslims explain in their own words what they were doing that day, how they were affected immediately by the bombings, and what lessons they draw now that five years have passed. The contributors, evenly balanced between men and women, include British born Muslims, immigrants and converts to Islam.

Edited by Murtaza Shibli, former Public Affairs and Media Officer of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the book, 7/7: Muslim Perspectives will be launched on 7 July at the House of Lords, at an event supported by the Universal Peace Federation and European Muslim Research Centre, University of Exeter.

The editor of the book, Murtaza Shibli, said “The voice and views of the ordinary British Muslims have been lost

Murtaza Shibli

amongst the endless debates and analysis. This book offers a chance to find out what normal people experienced and how this watershed event has had an impact on their lives both as British citizens and as Muslims.”

Canon Guy Wilkinson, National Inter Religious Affairs Adviser & Secretary for Inter Religious Affairs to the Archbishop of Canterbury, said of the book “Those responsible, we need to be reminded, were respecters neither of humanity nor of religion. If this book enables more people to be respecters of both, then it will have contributed to the wellbeing of British society.”

Robert Lambert and Jonathan Githens-Mazer of the European Muslim Research Centre, University of Exeter, argue that a failure to hold a public inquiry into 7/7 has led to many misunderstandings about its causes. This in turn has allowed religiously observant and politically active Muslims to be demonised as ‘radical’ or ‘extremist’ by ill-informed commentators and politicians. For them    “This is an excellent book that challenges Islamophobic accounts of Muslims that have grown alarmingly since 7/7”.

In a joint statement, Robin Marsh and Margaret Ali of the Universal Peace Federation said, “The Universal Peace Federation (UPF) is supporting the book launch of ‘7/7 Muslim Perspectives’ because facilitating dialogue and understanding between communities is central to UPF’s vision. It is good to hear firsthand accounts from Muslim men

Seja Majeed: a champion of volunteering and a contributor to the book

Seja Majeed - A Contributor to the Book

and women. Through the humanity and compassion in their testimonies a wider common ground can be perceived by concerned non-Muslim Britons. This is particularly necessary at this time of tension over immigration and the rise of the BNP”.

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New Future for Britain: Where will the Coalition Lead Us?

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on July 1, 2010

Tom Brake Addressing UPF South London Audience

In front of a 50-strong audience at the Peace Embassy in Thornton Heath, Tom Brake, the Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington, received an Ambassador for Peace award, which was presented in acknowledgement of his sterling contribution over many years as a hard-working MP and shadow government minister and for his long-standing efforts in support of human rights and international development. Presenting the award at UPF South London’s conference on “A New Future for Britain”, Robin Marsh, UPF Secretary General, commended Mr Brake for his sense of integrity and his consistent support for the principles of peace and social justice. The MP,  who had cycled from Carshalton to Thornton Heath to be with us, delivered a forceful message regarding the steps being taken by the coalition government to reduce the deficit and stabilise the economy.

He further emphasised the importance of the concept of a wider society – a big society – and the role that the government envisioned community, church and voluntary groups to play. He admitted that working together with a party he had previously opposed represented a great challenge which required a new mindset but illustrated the adaptability of his party.  Fielding questions from the audience, Tom Brake talked about the options and timetable for electoral reform, and the desire of his party to remain true to its principles while working within the coalition.

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