A leading Islamic organisation was today kicking off its nationwide awareness week in the capital in an effort to promote better understanding of the religion and its historical links with Britain.
Mayor Ken Livingstone was launching Islam Awareness Week at a ceremony at City Hall with the message “One London”. Guest speakers at the ceremony include author and leading historian Professor Nabil Matar and secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain Sir Iqbal Sacranie.
Shafeeq Sadiq, national co-ordinator of Islam Awareness Week, said: “We need to remember the positive spirit that embraced the nation, and especially the capital, after London won the Olympic bid. It is with such optimism and hope that we will defeat terrorism.”
Now in its 12th year, the Islamic Society of Britain’s initiative aims to bring Muslims and non-Muslims together through a host of events and activities being held in towns and cities across the country.
During the week, the capital will see an east London mosque throw open its doors to the public, the staging of Islam-themed exhibitions and lectures and the screening of a film exploring the life of a great Muslim philosopher.
This year’s theme is “Past and Present: 1,000 years of Islam and Britain” and will highlight the relationship between Islam and Britain which stretches back more than a millennium to the eighth century CE when Muslim explorers and traders began to visit British shores and Anglo-Saxon sailors ventured to North Africa.
Mr Sadiq said: “For over a thousand years of Islam and Britain, one has given shape to the other, whether we call this the Islamic legacy of Britain or the British heritage of Islam. Amid all the negativity, our past actually shows a rich history of co-existence between Islam and the British Isles. We can choose to make the future. Let’s learn from the past and make it bright.”
The Islamic Society of Britain is an affiliate of the Muslim Council of Britain.
For more details about Islamic Awareness Week, log on to www.iaw.org.uk
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