The terrible war being waged by the barbaric thugs of Daesh (ISIS) across the Middle East, and now North Africa too, continues almost unabated. Local populations are being terrorised and minorities, in particular, are facing unprecedented levels of persecution.
Let's be clear: wearing a niqab is not regarded as a religious requirement by the vast majority of Muslims. Even in President Rouhani's Iran, women do not cover their faces. It is a cultural tradition with its origins in the Arabian peninsula, exported by preachers who follow the teachings of wahhabism.
Muslim scholars gathered at the summit made it clear that religious minorities living in Muslim countries must enjoy safety and security, granted by Islam, unconditionally. Conflicts, tensions and divisions amongst faiths feeding animosity must be resolved through mediation, diplomacy, and dialogue. The Charter of Medina provides an exemplary foundation for peaceful co-existence between diverse communities.
In the promotional blurb for a lecture on 'Why 'no religion' is the new religion' that took place this week at the British Academy, it was claimed t...
I am not religious, but I can understand why many people are. Last night I watched Channel 4 documentary Jihadis Next Door and like many others it riled me up too. Maybe not for the reasons you'd expect though.
"Lord, Lord, my prayer flies, Like a word on a wing." You could be forgiven for thinking this is a sentence from a Sunday morning sermon. Or perhaps the lyrics of a venerable Gospel song. Instead, it was penned by one of the most creative singer songwriters of the 20th and 21st centuries...
A State in which its Muslim citizens are prepared not only to live in peace with those of other faiths, but be willing to fight and die to safeguard their rights. A State in which a matchless spirit of peace is forged on the precepts of complete justice. A State in which there exists unity in diversity, in which there is light and compassion instead of darkness and hatred...
A thousand years ago, Europeans clubbed together in search of a common mission to defeat an enemy. And in doing so, through their Crusades, through wa...
The shepherds went and worshipped. Herod sought to kill. Today's Herods, ISIS and the like around the world in so many faiths, propose false apocalypses. But you and I are called to respond in worship and transforming, world changing obedience, both as individuals, and together, to this revelation of the baby that defines God, for it is our response to Jesus that defines us.
We can all be truly thankful that demand for foodbank parcels has, over the last year or so, begun to settle, though only after climbing to a figure of around a million three day parcels a year. It's an extraordinary high level compared with only a few years ago, and one that I would never have imagined we would reach. What seems bizarre though is that some commentators are suggesting this plateau in demand means that the problem of food poverty has gone away. It hasn't. It's too many, and there's no guarantee that it won't rise again soon.
British Muslims would be far better off if only they invest in knowledge and turn much of their energy into reading, learning, thinking, reflecting and reasoning. Revisiting the history of a pluralist Spain would be useful, as that would help them in comparing their better past with the thorny present.
By now, we all know that murder is wrong, theft is seriously frowned upon, cheating is repugnant, and that we should be kind to our parents. The old religious based 10 commandments are now firmly rooted in our minds, so it's about time we had some new ones relevant to the more secular society we have become.
Christmas is at our door, a religious festival which for most Brits has lost its religious grounding, leaving behind only its cultural, family-orientated traditions. Many outspoken atheists of today argue that we as a society should leave all our religious grounding at the door when raising our children, allowing only secular rituals to survive onto our next generation.
Today there is still plenty of brokenness around the world. Conflicts have escalated to the point where hundreds of thousand refugees are forced to travel all the way to Europe in search for safety, whilst millions still remain in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
Can we improve the education of true Islamic values in Muslim countries? What drives extremist interpretations of Islam in the first place? And how should we tackle the socio-political causes of radicalisation?
I would not have voted in favour of bombing Syria. ISIL/Daesh is a source of evil, of this I have no doubt. But for me the case for bombing is not proven. Some, including some I greatly respect, say that the traditional Christian criteria for a Just War have been fulfilled. But I cannot agree. Across the world I see the the political reflex to seek quick popularity through warmongering talk, and I abhor it. I believe there is a better way. In the season of the coming of the Prince of Peace let's try and find it together.