The second two-day Global Peace and Unity event which seeks to break barriers and build bridges between Muslims and various cultural groups returns this year "bigger and better than before," organisers tell IslamOnline.net.
"We want to bring about cohesion and coexistence between the different Muslim groups and faiths as well," said Mohammed Ali, CEO of Islam Channel, the organizer.
"We want to promote the concepts of coexistence and respect for each other and we want to diffuse the tensions between the different communities within the context of the war on terror and clash of civilisation so that we contribute to the world's peace," maintained Ali.
It aims to primarily feature the need for global peace and encourage unity among Britain's diverse communities.
The event will bring together renowned Muslim scholars, including Yusuf Estes, the national chaplain for American Muslims, renowned scholar Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips and from Saudi Arabia Sheikh Salman bin Fahd al-Oadah.
A host of key speakers, including Muslim Council of Britain Secretary General Abdul Bari, Lord Nazir Ahmed and former Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid, will address the audience.
World-renowned nasheed artist and groups such as Zain Bhikha, Native Deen and Seven 8 Six will be entraining the nearly 40,000 people expected to show up.
An exciting two-day exhibition of Islam's two holy mosques in Saudi Arabia will be held followed by the largest mystifying nasheed concert ever held in Britain.
The event is being organised by Islam Channel, the first free-to-air, English language, Islamic-focused satellite channel, and is supported by MCB, the Mayor of London and the Metropolitan Police.
The speakers will address issues not necessarily specific to the British Muslim community but of global nature.
"Issues such as coexistence and mutual respect will be addressed in the GPU event," Ali told IOL.
Yet, a primary objective of the event is to create awareness amongst British Muslims of the concept of positive integration.
"What we mean by positive integration is to integrate into institutions whether they are political and economical, intellectual or professional in the wider society," said Ali.
He asserted, however, that this should not be at the expense of "compromising our identity."
The Muslim minority, estimated at nearly 1.8 million, has been facing increasing pressure from politicians to integrate, especially after last year's July bombings by four British born Muslims.
The bombings have created a context for UK politicians to discuss the issue of Muslim integration.
However, the majority of Muslims in Britain view the way politicians want them to integrate as a mere assimilation whereby they lose their identity and religious and cultural traditions.
House of Commons leader and former foreign secretary Jack Straw's recent call for Muslim women to remove their face-veils while visiting his surgery created fury amongst British Muslims.
Ali denies that being %100 Muslim constitutes an obstacle for integration into the wider society.
"We are proud of what we are. We are Muslims and we are not going to change. That's not an obstacle for us to integrate into the wider society."
He went on: "We want our communities to play an active part in society. However we have to retain our identities as Muslims, we have to preserve our faiths."
|The two-day event aims to underline the need for global peace and encourage unity among Britain's diverse communities.|
The two-day event also aims to break barriers and promote dialogue across the multitude of cultures, ethnic communities that follow the Islamic faith.
"We don't want to be Muslim communities. We want to be one community," Ali hopes.
Muslims in Britain hail from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds and speak different languages.
Across the country, there are several Muslim concentrations each brought together by a common ethnic origin, language and culture.
The event aims to open bridges between these Muslims communities so that they integrate amongst themselves.
But it equally seeks to open bridges with the wider community.
"We want the wider society to acknowledge who we are, what we stand for, our problems and what our dreams are," asserted Ali.
"We want to dispel the misconceptions about our faith and our prophet (peace and blessings be upon him."
The organisers have invited guests from across the mainstream political establishment to engage and have a dialogue with the Muslim minority.
"They are coming to speak to the community and hear back from it too."
Many of these speakers are high-profile non-Muslim politicians, he said, citing Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Secretary of State for Wales Peter Hain, MP George Galloway, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Rose Fitzpatrick and Trades Union Congress (TUC) General Secretary Brendan Barber.
It has been the norm that that events hosted by Muslim organisations in the UK and Europe attract Muslims mainly.
In a response to this, Mr Ali said that in order to encourage people of other faiths, the organisers have offered free tickets to non-Muslims.
Mainstream media such as BBC and Sky have been invited to cover the two-day event.
The aim, according to Ali, is to ensure "those people who can't attend know who we are and thus create awareness about Muslims amongst them."
Source : islamonline.net
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16