“That which is of the greatest concern to me, it’s the growing strength each year, more and more, of communitarianism,” stated Gérard Longuet, an associate of François Fillon, even if certain communities “posed no problems.”
“The Chinese in the XIII arrondissement don’t, to my knowledge, pose any particular problem,” he said. According to Longuet, the problems “in general, are not north XVI or Issy-les-Moulineaux” but “where there are communities of Muslim origin, whether of French nationality or not.”
Asked about the “institutional racism” highlighted by the “Théo affair,” he denounced the accusation and stressed that “France is without a doubt one of the most open countries in Europe, the most conciliatory, where there are the most multiracial and multi-faith families.”
“The French are not deeply racist,” he assured.
Austrian President Heinz Fischer said he strongly believed Austria will always be home for multicultural, multi-faith and multi-ethnic co-existence and a model for tolerance, love and harmony among all citizens who follow Islam, Christianity and other faiths of the world. “Austria will however remain a European country leading openness and dialogue among representatives of the three major faiths Islam, Christianity and Judaism and other cultures and ethnicities based on common aspects”, remarked Fischer in a statement to WAM at a reception he held last night for the third year on the occasion of Eid el Fitr. He said that the message he wanted to get across to Austrians and members of the Muslim community on the occasion is that the new Austrian cabinet will soon be formed and that he hopes it will be a national unity cabinet representing all parties and trends. Austria, he added will always be prepared to continue dialogue and rapprochement among representatives of followers of faiths and cultures with a focus on commonalities and historical and close relationships and cooperation between Austria and Islamic world. Asked about his evaluation of the recent Parliamentary elections last Sunday and the resulting sweeping victory of the two anti-immigrant far right parties, the Freedom party led by Heinz-Christian Strache and the Movement for Austria’s Future led by Jorg Haider, Fischer said the headway made by those parties is only limited because the Social Democratic Party of Austria is still ranking first followed by the Austrian People’s party.
A one day conference to mark the launch of the Association of Muslim Chaplains in Education was hosted at Brunel University in West London. The conference, held on June 25, was attended by over 80 participants of different faith communities and from different parts of the UK. Bill Rammell, MP for Lifelong Learning and Education addressed the conference via video link and welcomed the launch of the Association. I am clear that a trained Muslim chaplain can be an effective safeguard for those students who may otherwise be vulnerable to violent extremist political influences. He said, Properly trained Muslim chaplains can play a significant part in meeting pastoral care needs and that a trained Muslim chaplain can be an effective safeguard for those students who may otherwise be vulnerable to violent extremist political influences. Professor Chris Jenks, Vice Chancellor of Brunel University talked about the importance of the presence of Muslim chaplains on campus and the path Brunel has taken towards a Multi Faith approach. Muslim Chaplains on campus was widely acknowledged as recognition of the fact that Islam was not the faith of the stranger or temporary resident but one of the mainstream faith traditions in our society. The work of Muslim Chaplains in education in promoting community cohesion was also acknowledged.
With Birmingham set to become the UK’s first ethnic majority city in just two years, a debate will take place on how businesses are adapting to the rise of a new multi-faith workforce. On January 31, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry will debate the issue along with a number of panellists. The event, chaired by The Birmingham Post editor Marc Reeves, will discuss whether there is a place for faith in business. One of the four members of the panel Mohammed Hasan put forward his views on the subject. Hasan, managing consultant, Catalyst Consulting Associates, reportedly described himself as a “fundamentalist Muslim” who, although born a Brummie, but raised in Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Australia, New York “and a couple of other places in the US”. He was reported to have said: “I am what you would call a fundamentalist Muslim. I am a passionate believer in British values, I am committed to democracy, I have zero tolerance for violence and all of that happens because of my religion. I grew up in a mono-cultural environment in Saudi Arabia and was raised religiously in the _Wahhabi’ establishment. I have stayed away from the diversity issue because I never understood why it was a problem. I arrived back in the UK ten years ago and had to plough my own way. I called and met people I read about in The Birmingham Post and some of them are now friends, advisers or contacts.”http://www.themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=EC97FA2BA83C1B791BC9ABA4&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News
The future of community cohesion in High Wycombe was boosted by the launch of a Christian and Muslim Relations Council, it was reported. The group has been created to promote integration between people of different faiths and backgrounds living in the town and to improve equality.http://themuslimweekly.com/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=3E256D962FB5EC863E27BD86&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News