National Islam Awareness Week

National Islam Awareness Week

The Royal Geographic Society in London will play host to the launch of the 13th Islam Awareness Week on Monday 20 November. The 2006 theme is ‘One World – The Myth of the Clash’.

Last Monday, 20 prominent world leaders submitted the Alliance of Civilisations report to the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, in Istanbul. The report dismissed the notion that a clash of civilisations is inevitable but says that swift action is needed. The group argued that the need to build bridges has never been greater.

One key contributor to the report, Professor John Esposito, Professor of International Affairs and Islamic Studies at America’s Georgetown University, will fly in from Istanbul to deliver the keynote speech at the launch. Entitled The Myth of the Clash, the speech will explore the common thread of humanity which binds people together.

“Our message is the things that we have in common are much more significant than our differences, whether those differences are real or in our minds. Talk of a great clash is the talk of mongers, but we must not stand still and just watch either,” says Julie Siddiqi, national coordinator of Islam Awareness Week. “The time is right now. That is why we are taking our message as far and wide as we can to more towns and people than ever, to every MP in the country. The clash is imagined but our one world is not – we have got to come together and own the concerns and problems in our world.”

Islam Awareness Week will see a range of local activities across the country underlining the many values that bring people together: truth, justice and equality; freedom, dignity and respect. A commissioned exhibition promoting the One World message will be displayed at events and schools. The popular Canadian Muslim folksinger, Dawud Wharnsby, will give a special performance at the launch. Big Issue magazine will carry a feature on Islam Awareness Week, which is supported by the Archbishop Rowan Williams, HRH Prince Charles, Churches Together, the Muslim Council of Britain, Friends of the Earth and the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone.

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Name: Sughra Ahmed