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2017 Peaceful Co-Existence Conference a Success!

MCW co-hosts international Peaceful Coexistence Conference

On December 5th 2017, the Muslim Council of Wales in partnership with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and the Knowledge Exchange Program of Saudi Arabia, hosted a joint international conference on the theme of ‘Ethical Approaches to Peaceful Coexistence’. The conference was held in Cardiff City Hall and attracted over 110 speakers and delegates from around the world and across the UK. The conference aimed to look primarily at religious and interfaith perspectives on the topic to provide ways forward for peaceful coexistence in an increasingly globalised, diverse and conflicted world.

The conference was inaugurated by representatives from the three partner organisations – Prof. Medwin Hughes, Vice Chancellor of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD), Dr Abdullah Al Lheedan, Chairman of the Knowledge Exchange Program (KEP) and Prof. Saleem Kidwai, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Wales (MCW).

The keynote speaker was Dr Mustafa Ceric, Grand Mufti Emeritus of Bosnia who spoke on the Islamic concepts of ethics and morality as bases for peaceful coexistence. He reflected on how these ideas relate to contemporary issues such as Islamophobia and violent conflict and how there must be cooperation between Muslims and other communities to address these. He argued for an acknowledgement of issues within Muslim communities and texts as well as an acknowledgement of the moral emphasis in the message of Islam in order to move dialogue forward. The full speech can be downloaded on Dr Ceric’s organisation’s website here:

Konferencija u Kardifu o temi “Etički pristup miroljubivom suživotu”

Other speakers included Prof Gary Bunt from UWTSD who discussed online examples of conflict and coexistence, Catriona Robertson, Director of the Christian-Muslim Forum who argued for a strategic, practical approach to interfaith work, Dr Waqar Azmi from Remembering Srebrenica who reflected on lessons from the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia in 1995, Dr Yasser Babateen from KEP who explored how learning a language can be an opportunity for cultural exchange to promote coexistence, and Rabbi Monique Mayer  who gave an example of a project aimed at coexistence after the eruption of violence in Gaza in 2014.

The initiative resulted in the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the three partner organisations which took place during MCW’s annual interfaith dinner the following evening on 6th December 2017. The document was signed by Prof. Medwin Hughes, Vice Chancellor of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD), Dr Abdullah Al Lheedan, Chairman of the Knowledge Exchange Program (KEP) and Prof. Saleem Kidwai, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Wales (MCW). The memorandum of understanding will allow further cooperation between the organisations to develop further initiatives and projects aiming to counteract division and conflict in society and achieve peaceful coexistence.

From left to right: Prof. Medwin Hughes (UWTSD), Dr. Abdullah Al Lheedan (KEP) and Prof. Saleem Kidwai (MCW)

For more information, use the contact details below:

Conference website: https://peacefulcoexistenceconference.wordpress.com/ or

Email: conference@muslimcouncilwales.org.uk.

Conference hashtag: #CoexistenceConf (to see social media posts from the day)

 

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