Latest News - 16 Jun 2019

Latest News

Interfaith Week at the British Parliament - Faith in Politics

19 November 2018

Written by: Dr. Mozammel Haque

The Forum for International Relations Development (FIRD) has organised an event at the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday, the 13th of November 2018 to celebrate UK Parliament Week and Interfaith Week. "Faith is a great starting point for politics - perhaps the best starting point there is. Because religious faith is the source of the values we need to make politics work: responsibility, solidarity, patience, persistence, compassion, truthfulness. The erosion of these values has led to an erosion of trust in politics. To rebuild trust in politics, as we must, we need to rebuild those values - and religious faith is a very promising source from which to do so," said Rt. Hon. Stephen Timms, Member of Parliament representing the diverse community in the East End of London and also the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Faith and Society



Rt. Hon. Stephen Timms particularly extended his thanks to Umar Mahmood from the Forum for International Relations Development for putting together the programme for today's event by managing to bring the following illustrious panel which included Dr. Harriet Crabtree OBE, Executive Director, The Inter Faith Network; Afzal Khan CBE MP, Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Immigration); David Clark - Head of Education and Engagement, UK Parliament; Dr. Rosena Allin-Khan MP - Shadow Minister (DCMS) (Sport) and Jehangir Malik, CEO Muslim Aid.

I had the opportunity to be present at the event on behalf of Dr. Ahmad al-Dubayan, the Director General of the Islamic Cultural Centre & London Central Mosque, as one of his Advisors. I listened carefully and attentively and found Mr. Stephen Timms noticed after a lot of discussions with faith groups that they did not have a very good relationship with their Local Authority and came out with a Covenant.

Parliamentarian Timms said, "We drew up something we call the Covenant for Engagement. Eleven local authorities have adopted it. It hopes to be a vehicle for building trust between faith groups on the one hand and local authorities on the other. I'm hoping that model will be adopted across the country as increasingly Councils recognise the value and the potential that faith groups can make."



At the beginning of his speech, Stephen Timms mentioned, "I represent a very diverse community in the East End of London. People who are not familiar with communities like the one I represent assume it must be fragmented. But this morning I met a young civil servant who has just moved in to our community who was commenting on how cohesive she is finding our community to be."

Parliamentarian Timms mentioned, "I think the way it works is that almost everyone in our community belongs to a faith group; and, as long as each of them is clearly part of our wider community, belonging to one of them extends to a sense of belonging to our community. Fragmentation doesn't happen because people all belong to lots of different things. Fragmentation happens when lots of people doing belong to anything at all."

"It is often said that "you shouldn't mix faith and politics". Those who say it point to trouble in any number of parts of the world to explain their argument. And you can see what they mean," said Rt. Hon. Timms and added, "But I think they are drawing the wrong conclusion. The truth is that faith is a great starting point for politics - perhaps the best starting point there is. Because religious faith is the source of the values we need to make politics work: responsibility, solidarity, patience, persistence, compassion, truthfulness. The erosion of these values has led to an erosion of trust in politics. To rebuild trust in politics, as we must, we need to rebuild those values - and religious faith is a very promising source from which to do so."

Speaking about Britain and Faith communities, Stephen Timms, who is chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Faith and Society, mentioned, "Britain tends to think of itself as a pretty secular country these days. And yet it has turned out, at the beginning of the 21st century that it has been faith groups which have uniquely been able to take on the sudden challenges of inequality of poverty which we have seen in recent years."

Citing an example, Mr. Timms draw the attention to the food poverty and said, "Let's look at food poverty. It is perhaps not surprising that faith groups have had the motivations to run food banks. More striking is that they have also had the capacity - when no other network or institution has been able to. It has been a remarkable achievement, illustrating an important truth about where the capacity to change things for the better in Britain today can really be found."

As a chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Faith and Society, Mr. Timms mentioned that he has got the chance to look into the relationships between the Local Authority and Faith Groups. "We have looked closely in recent years at the relationships between Local Authorities and faith groups in their area. We would like to see a lot more examples of Local Authorities commissioning services from faith based organisations who are wanting to provide services," said Mr. Timms and mentioned, "As part of our work, we have had a lot of discussions with faith groups - on a variety of topics, such welfare to work, children and young people, about oversees development. A very common theme of those discussions was faith groups feeling they didn't have a very good relationship with their Local Authority."

Parliamentarian Timms said, "The Councils were suspicious of them, there was a fear that if they did give money to a faith based organisation to provide a service, then either that money be used to convert people instead of delivering the service, or the service would be delivered in a way that was biased and only for that particular group. But local authorities have a lot of anxiety and nervous about all this. And that is what our covenant is aiming to address."

Parliamentarian Timms talked about a Covenant which is aiming to address the issues presently facing. He mentioned, "So we drew up something we call the Covenant for Engagement. Eleven local authorities have adopted it. It hopes to be a vehicle for building trust between faith groups on the one hand and local authorities on the other. I'm hoping that model will be adopted across the country as increasingly councils recognise the value and the potential that faith groups can make. I imagine many of us sitting in this room recognise this potential. Let's hope others do too! I hope the discussion today will give this collaboration a new impetus and energy for the future."

Lord Tyler CBE
Lord Tyler said, "I have been associated for a number of years with faith and civil society. The works that I have been doing at various educational levels is to improve religious literacy. I think in this country now we have two generations possibly we have not the benefit of understanding and getting to know different faith groups as they believing and what its important what is significant in their lives. And that affects the whole education system. So there is a big lack of understanding for quite a long time."

Referring to Stephen Timms's food banks, Lord Tyler said, "It is interesting as Stephen said it happened at the same time very important initiative have been taken by those faith groups and I am associated with the trust as they were the partners who run and managed and looked after the majority of our food banks. And my wife is a trustee of that local food banks. This combination of trying to increase the understanding of what faith groups are facing and at the same time the challenges to try to make a larger contribution to the local communities. I think it is a very important double aim; it is moving in the same direction I think we can do is to improve the speed the important development phases is important too."

Lord Alderdice
Lord AIderdice said, "The problem of faith and politics was for a long time implied to be a cause of the Protestants and the Catholics fighting because they came from religious backgrounds. And the view many of them took in the 1970s and 1980s when I was beginning my own works was resolution of problem only when people only moved away from their commitment of their religious faiths."

"When I became involved coming from a faith background and commitment I took the view that we needed to understand that what faith is all about. I did not believe that the IRA was fighting to protect doctrinal Francis; it was not at all and then it was interesting because as people of faith became involved in working resolution like things begun to make much progress," said Lord Alderdice and added, "Many of the people involved were of the view that after two/three generations of education religious faiths will effectively be disappeared. No one can look at the world now and say that is the case."

Lord Alderdice said, "I think there is really fascinating and exciting challenge for us but it is a challenge. This year we are celebrating really an important anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But in 2018 Article 18 of Freedom of Religion and Belief is an orphaned article about which nothing being done by the United Nations on that front. This is something which we can pick up and promote and indeed I am very happy to say that the British government begun to think of some funding in the question of freedom of religion and belief. I think this is a big recognition that we can talk seriously about Universal Declaration of Human Rights; without talking energetically about the freedom of religion and belief. And that includes those who do not have religious belief of course."

Lord Alderdice mentioned, "I think it is not so much different religious faiths all the way people hold their faith and those who hold it in a fundamentalist way of thinking was very often do contribute to fragmentation; but those who understand the importance of diversity I have a totally different perspective very much the one that Stephen mentions that understanding the different routes to faith that may help us to bring a richer community because of its diversity rather than a divided community because of our differences; but if we are going to achieve that I think there is an important change for the faith community is to be looking forward to what venturing faith it means rather than simply trying to maintain the practices and the rituals and the ways of working from the past for their own sake."

"Every generation has the possibility of seeing in a different new way and if they are creative or energetic and visionary they can take things forward," said Lord Alderdice.

Lord Alderdice also mentioned, "It's a sad reality of the human conditions however every new idea and new venture is taken up by the second generation and consolidated but the time it comes to the third generation it becomes bureaucratised, institutionalised, legalised regulations all over the place and anybody that comes forward with the movement with the spirit whatever that means to them is really a heretic and problem. So every now and then again we have actually to become a bit heretical."

Lord Alderdice said, "I do see a very important difference between belief and faith. Belief is in a sense the things we feel sure of that we knew; faith is a venturing into the uncertainty with commitment and trust but nevertheless it is a venturing out of our little bar into the uncertainty of the wider zone there."

Dr. Rosena Allin-Khan MP Tooting
Dr. Rosena Allin-Khan, Member of Parliament from the Tooting Constituency said, "I think if you are the embodiment of some one in faith probably it makes me; the Pakistani father, a Polish mother, living in Tooting I think that sounds very much of everything. I am a practising Muslim went to a Church of England school; I go around collecting prayers wherever I can get them; whether it is a Church, Mosque, or Synagogue and my family in Poland stood alongside their Jewish friends and colleagues to fight against the Germans and I have devoted my life to pursue the interfaith works."



Dr. Allin-Khan mentioned, "I believe actually fundamentally we are all the same; we are all children of God; whichever house you choose to go and worship; oh no, worship; whether you call it worship, soul, spirit; whatever; we are all here together to call habit for a divine purpose. And I think we need to be very honest as politician. I have been MP only for two years now. I spent my life working as a doctor. I am an emergency medicine physician and I still practice and I work in the field of humanitarian aid. And I have seen those come in all forms, sect, society and religion and that comes in all forms of sect, society and religion and our role as people are to find those like-minded individual and stand shoulder to shoulder with them whichever colour, religion and denomination they are or belong to. Politicians are really important though to embrace the part the faith may play in your life and sometimes you get cut down for doing so."

Talking about her family and children, Dr. Allin-Khan said, "My children, I have children three years old and five years old; they are Polish Pakistani Welsh being raised as Muslim; oh she drug her husband down the mosque, made him to take the Shahadah, forced him to be a Muslim; who would choose that. Yes; my three daughters are Muslim; new flash; that's the world we live in and in fact that is the majority these days; the majority of our country are mixed heritage. My daughters and I other people they share because they are wearing scarf; what I love her school I choose to have educated in a non-denominational school. It is very important that children learn from one another, I really believe that."

Dr. Rosena Khan talked about herself and her belief and faith and profession. She said, "My mum says me there are people harder than us; that makes me think if there is God up there and I belief there is I am sure HE means me to improve the life of people harder than me. And I took that mission throughout my life with me and everyday my prayer was I don't really care what the far right say about me; I always say everyday God whatever You mean me have; Whatever way you used let it be and when HE took me this poor simple girl going for medical school in Cambridge."

Dr. Rosena Khan works in Hospital as a Doctor with her faith. She said, "Okay shock around the world; when someone came to my A & E department in Hospital with a break up morning trying to have a heart attack and I stand up around the bed; God, you mean this person to live; work for me. Every time I sat at the chamber and I had a message to deliver I think to improve the lives of everybody. I say; God, if you need me immediately without mumbling jumbling; immediately placed the attention to the matter IF it is important in the community I would be doing my job; if I take everything on my job; that does not mean everybody has to; that does not mean I don't judge people."

Dr. Rosena Khan also said, "I don't but I mean I am learning; I am on a journey where I am learning to embrace; her faith affects my politics and my job and the best thing we can do in our community if the unsung putting you whether you are a public figure or being a politician or otherwise it comes risky safe; I am a Christian and I have Christian values; that means someone will love you; I am a Muslim and I am proud; because someone will call you fundamentalist."

Dr. Khan has very beautifully explained and defined the word 'Fundamentalist'. She said, "I tell you what, a fundamentalist Muslim by very definition is somebody who believe in peace; who believe in unity; he does not support division; guide who fundamentalist says; fundamentalist Christian will say the same things; fundamentalist Catholic will say the same; as my Stephen colleague just said people who hold such a hard thought they would look upon rest of us, Muslims not supporting their ideology; did itself is Islamic."

Afzal Khan MP
Afzal Khan, Member of Parliament from the Greater Manchester Constituency just arrived from another meeting and said, "Luckily, just finished in ten minutes before you finish; so I am pleased I am able to join you. All I really want to say I know you are going to finish soon. For me, faith is something positive, all faiths the key message is ultimately about improving the individual and then secondly the core messages are making we have a good society; this is the message and when we think about the world we are living in I find this message is even more important now in the sense because we are more able to travel anywhere in the world and equally we are more able to communicate instantly virtually anywhere any part of the world; so actually really the world has become a global village in this context both for travelling and both for communication."

"And therefore, for us, those of us have common values of faith are equally important that we celebrate this. Myself personally; if I compare my own life I know when I was not close to my faith those values were totally different. But faith gave me those values especially engaged me because I am inspired by the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and his message. You know the two things which always help me in this idea of practising faith: The one, he said, was the best among the humanity are those who bring benefits to others and that's the core of the values. And the second which is very much personal idea of development is. He said; the person whose two days are the same is in a state of loss so the need to constantly improve yourself to make things better is also there and so I think faith is something positive."

"Welcome to this development and I look forward to being able to part of this; so to see the more we can do; bring the rich diverse community that we have, celebrate the communality that we have, instead of the differences that we live, that we have; that itself I believe actually to help us to be in better and distinguishes us more," said parliamentarian Afzal Khan.







News > News Items
 
 
Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP Visits ICC for Iftar & Dinner Event
19 May 2019

ICC holds its Annual Interfaith Iftar & Dinner - Sponsored by the Embassy of UAE
16 May 2019

The Council of Arab Ambassadors Meeting - London
3 May 2019

H.E. Umit Yalcin - The Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey visited the Islamic Cultural Centre
30 April 2019

Young Writers Competition Achievemnt Awards
28 April 2019

Arabic Manuscripts Day Celebration at The Islamic Cultural Centre
20 April 2019

Beyond the TARTAROS - A Muslim World in the Heart of Europe
13 April 2019

Istanbul - A World of Culture. - A photography Exhibition
13 April 2019

First General Assembly of the League of Teaching Arabic AssociationsEXT
April 2019

Standing in Solidarity agaist Terrorism with the Home Secretary, Secretary of State, Mayor of London, Faith Leaders and Communities
March 2019

John Manzoni - The Chief Executive of the Civil Service and Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary visits ICC
6 March 2019

Dr. Ahmad Al Dubayan receives 'Person of the Year 2019' Award
3 March 2019

Mosque Open Day - Celebrations at ICC
Sunday 3 March 2019

The Islamic Cultural Centre Discuss New Initiatives
February 2019

International Mother Language Day Celebrations
Saturday 25 February 2019

Visit of Baroness Tina Stowell, Chair of Charity Commission
9th February 2019

Tawheed Course Completion - Certification & Celebration
Saturday 23 February 2019

Two day 'Teacher Training' organised by ICC: The importance of the communicative approach in teaching Arabic to non-native speakers
January 2019

World Uyghur Congress President - Mr Dolkun Isa visits ICC Article written by: Dr. Mozammel Haque
20 January 2019

The Islamic Cultural Centre supporting a Quranic classes in the city of El-Alia - Tunisia
20 January 2019

Her Excellency Saida Muna Tasneem - High Commissioner of Bangladesh to the United Kingdom visited the Islamic Cultural Centre.
Friday 28 December 2018

14th Muslim International Forum - Paris
Monday 10 December 2018

The Faith and Belief Community Awards 2018
27th November 2018

Imam Muhamed Sytari, Mufti of Shkodra, Albania visits ICC
Tuesday 27th November 2018

Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Tatarstan visits ICC
Sunday 25 November 2018

Mr Khalid El Moujaddidi - Consul General of the Kingdom of Morocco visits ICC
Wednesday 21 November 2018

Professor Bashar Awwad Marouf delivers a lecture on Imam Bukhari and His Book Al-Sahih
Saturday 24 November 2018

World Conference on the Holy Qur'an at SAOS University - London
Saturday 10 November 2018

The Annual General Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Islamic Cultural Center London
Thursday 2 November 2018

How to Achieve Justice For Rohingyas
24 October 2018

The Questions of Culture - Dr Abdullah Alsufyani
27th August 2018

Mr. Khaled Al Khalifa, First Secretary of the Embassy of Kuwait in the UK visits the Islamic Cultural Centre.
Monday 13th August 2018

His Excellency Jean-Pierre Jouyet - French Ambassador to the United Kingdom visits ICC
Tuesday 19th June 2018

Brandon Lewis - Chairman of the Conservative Party visits ICC
Friday 15th June 2018

Sheikh Khalid Abdul Kafi visits London Central Mosque
Friday 8th July 2018

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh OBE WS NP and Alex Salmond Former First Minister of Scotland
Wednesday 6th July 2018

Ubeydullah Bilaloglu from the Turkish Islamic Community Milli Gorus visits the The London Central Mosque
Wednesday 6th July 2018

Interfaith Iftar 2018
Thursday 31 May 2018

Inauguration Ceremony of Prayer Room at Lords Cricket Ground
Wednesday 23rd May 2018

Interfaith Iftar
Thursday 31 May 2018

The Indonesian Embassy in London hosts ICC Director General at Ramadan Iftar Event
Saturday 19 May 2018

Art Exhibition "Saudi Signatures" by Saudi Artists
Sunday 13th May 2018

Bahrain Delegation and King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence, Bahrain visit ICC
Friday 11th May 2018

Imam Training for Ramadan 2018
Saturday 12th May 2018

International Symposium on the teaching of Arabic Language and understanding of the principles of Islam took place in ALECSO, Tunisia
Friday 27th April 2018

Islamic Culture Centre Celebrates the International Manuscript Day
Sunday 18th March 2018

Sadaqa Day
Sunday 18th March 2018

Inauguration of the New Archieve Office of the Islamic Cultural Centre
Friday 16th March 2018

The Outreach Team at UCL's Engineers Without Borders visited us at Hikmah "The Youth Project" to inspire our students to choose a career where they will be able to change the world.
Friday 16th March 2018

London Central Mosque Trust and the Islamic Cultural Centre is listed with Historic England.
STuesday 13th March 2018

Uzbekistan Schoars visit ICC
Sunday 4th of March 2018

Celebrating Arabic Event by Centre of Islamic Studies, SOAS, University of London
Saturday 3rd March 2018

Visit My Mosque Day 2018
Monday 19 February 2018

Celebrating Arabic Event by Centre of Islamic Studies, SOAS, University of London
Tuesday 15th January 2018

Dr Ahmad Al Dubayan Honoured by the Community Leadership Foundation
Tuesday 12 December 2017

H.E. Robert Wood Johnson US Ambassador to the UK visits ICC
Wednesday 13 December 2017

The British Hajj Delegation held an Umrah Seminar at ICC
Saturday 9 December 2017

Indonesian Governement Delegation Visit ICC
Wednesday 22nd November 2017

The Chairman of The London Central Mosque Trust and Ambassador for Kuwait His Excellency Mr. Khaled Al-Duwaisan is Awarded the Golden Medallion of Sternberg Foundation - Interfaith
Tuesday 14th November 2017

St John's Wood Synagogue Mitzvah Day project in partnership with London Central Mosque
Sunday 19 November 2017

Cabinet Office Interfaith Event "Faith and Belief in Public Life"
Wednesday 15 November 2017

Muhammad - Prophet of Mercy talk delivered at St Johns Wood Church
Sunday 12th November 2017

What is Sufism? talk at Islamic Circle
Saturday 11th November 2017

Interfaith Symposium on 'Countering Fear and the Rise of Discrimination, Hate Speech and Hate Crimes in the UK'
Thursday 9th November 2017

Nigeria visit by Head Imam Sheikh Khalifa Ezzat
31 October - 4 November 2017

Indonesian Parliament Members Visit ICC
Tuesday 24th October 2017

Senior Members of the Goverment's Cabinet Office visit ICC
Thursday 19 October 2017

The Charity Commission in Partnership with ICC hold One Day Workshop titled: 'Registering & Running Your Faith Organisation as a Charity'
Wednesday 18 October 2017

His Excellency Najmal Quanine - Bangladesh High Commisioner to the United Kingdom Visits ICC
Friday 13 October 2017

Russian Deptuy Grand Mufti nd delegation of thr Religious Board of Muslims in the Russia Federation visit ICC
Friday 13 October 2017

The Islamic Cultural Centre holds its Annual General Meeting 2017 with the Trustees of the Centre.
Wednesday 20 September 2017

Islamic Art Exhibition held at the Yunus Emre Institute, London
Thursday 21 September 2017

Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, Member of Parliament Lok Sabha, Dhubri, Assam and President , All India United Democratic Front visits ICC
Monday 25 September 2017

Promoting Awareness of the Role of the UK British Community in Supporting Victims of the Syrian Conflict
14th September 2017

ICC host Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenants' of Greater London's Council of Faith Meeting
4th September 2017

ICC Receive Mr. Lewis Lukens Charge'd Affairs of The Embassy of The United States of America
August 2017

The Islamic Cultural Centre Celebrates Successful Hajj Delegation of 2017
September 2017

Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis: Cressida Dick CBE, QPM visits the ICC
16th August 2017

The 30th Annual Meeting of the Organisation of Social Studies
12th August 2017

Islam & Media Conference 2017
July 18th 2017

Two Day Symposium on Challenging Islamophobia
July 15th & 16th 2017

End of Year Ceremony at The ICC's Al-Qalam Weekend School
July 9th 2017

Hajj Seminar at the Islamic Cultural Centre 2017
July 8th 2017

Interfaith Iftar & Countering Extremism through Faith 2017
June 20th 2017

Eid Ul Fitr Celebrations 2017 & 27 Ramadan 1438 Photos
June 2017

Gathering of Faith Leaders in the Islamic Cultural Centre after the Manchester Attack
May 24th 2017

ICC Holds One Day Forum on Induction to Islam
May 21th 2017

The Islamic Cultural Centre and British Islamic Community Receives MWL Secretary General
May 6 - 17th 2017

ICC Holds Two Day Teacher Training Course
15 - 16 April 2017

Holds Open Day for Worshippers with Deafness
April 9th 2017

Arabic Manuscripts Day Celebrations at the ICC
April 8th 2017

Safeguarding the Vulnerable from Extremism
March 30th 2017

Conclusion of the interpretation course of the Quran in the Persian language
March 8th 2017

The Anniversary of the Massacre of the Muslims of Srebrenica
March 8th 2017

Islam & Women Debate & Dinner Event
February 23rd 2017

Fifth Forum of Imams in Britain
January 28th 2017

ICC's Arabic Cultural Saloon Holds Book Launch & Lecture at The King Fahad Academy
January 27th 2017

Islam & Democracy - Civic Responsibility
January 26th 2017

The Islamic Cultural Centre London Hosts His Eminence Sheikh Dr Saad Al Shathry
27 - 30 December 2016

World Arabic Language Day celebrations at the ICC
December 18th 2016

Stakeholder & Community Engagement Evening & End of Year Reception Dinner 2016
December 14th 2016

World Arabic Day celebrations at The University of Reading
December 12th 2016

Westminister Faith Exchange Competition
December 12th 2016



The London Central Mosque Trust Ltd. Registered in England and Wales. Company Number: 442394

Registered Office Address: 146 Park Road, London, NW8 7RG | Tel 020 7724 3363 | Fax 020 7724 0493 | Secretary 0207 725 2213, 0207 725 2152