Channel: Omer El-Hamdoon
decide to use the greeting of peace and peace conference with the center. So peace.
And I hope you're all having a movie,
it's sometimes difficult to stand here is
the barrier between you and me.
On the positive side,
there is light at the end of the tunnel.
For patients, I'd like to thank the UK Commission and the Peace Center for for inviting me for organizing this conference. And also I'd like to thank all the speakers who have spoken before me this so much positive and great messages that have come out and I've learnt a lot.
One thing, obviously most important is when we're talking about cohesion in life is the use of language and
organizes commerce allow me
to defer your tolerance, because I think the word tolerance, although it can definitely be used in a positive way, informally described what Jones spoke about earlier about that. Tolerance is more about being forced to accept others, it's almost like
they are forced upon us. And so we have to tolerate them. And indeed, there have been so many messages about the importance of respect, and having that genuine feeling that we want to build bridges and to do good to others. So tolerance can be a veneer or facade, whereas respect should be emanating from from the heart. And while I'm talking about language and diversity of language, and also diversity of races is something
that a lot both mentions, and reminds us on that. Indeed, one of the signs is the creation of the heavens and earth. And the differences are the diversity of your tongues, and the diversity of your skins. And that's something that allows us to understand from a religious perspective, actually language and the whole diversity that different cultures, different religions, people of faith, people have no faith at all bring in to the human experience that we have.
One of the verses that made people quote when we talk about multiculturalism is the most when God says Indeed, he has created a new from a male and a female and has made it into tribes and nations in you know, one another, and the word
is very much translated as knowing what
another aspect of this word is not just about knowing each other, but it is about doing good to each other because that's another word, the meaning of marble. So today waltz.
Culture is in a multicultural is no longer something that people just relate to each other through diplomatic dialogue. But it's become a reality as people migrate to different parts of the world, trying to learn and to experience and to make a game, the different
experiences that they have. And we should be proud here in the UK, that many cultures, many people from the other world, find the UK as a focus when they would like to come we know that people's cross across Europe and despite all the countries in Europe, they choose to come to the UK and I think that's something to be very proud of, and to be to be delighted to celebrate. Much like people in the olden times. They used to go to countries which were hubs of civilization, you know, that the the Islamic Revolution where people from all throughout the world were coming to court about for example, because it was the center of civilization, not because the Muslims were there, but it was
mostly Christians, Jews, they're all participating in making this diversity and giving back.
Kevin mentioned that one of the ways to dispel myths about
Discovering and knowing each other. And I think that's also very important. When we understand about each other and learn each other.
I really believe that there is a lot of goodwill. In the UK today, there's a lot of goodwill from, from people. But unfortunately, and I know why some time we generalize a lot when we speak about the media. But it seems like the media doesn't have lots of goodwill that's out there, lots of the law, a lot of the respect is usually masked by the media trying to promote bad stories, negative stories, stories about people who are doing evil things. And that's because those kinds of stories sell more. But I think we have to be ready to actually dig deeper and to, you know, go further than just scratching the surface. And really looking at what communities can can be restoring Finsbury Park,
a terrorist drove his van into the Muslims coming out from prayer, and indeed killed one person and injured many, we saw the massive response from people from all different
backgrounds who came and showed their solidarity with the Muslims following his his attack. And that shows and this is just one example. There are so many examples in time for the short to mention. demo, I want to just say that, from a religious perspective,
has a lot to offer. And I think we've already heard of great work that's been done under the banner of religion. And that's because religion can guide people to a, you know, through that kind of understanding to do the good things. Today, this minute, much research about how religion can help people in terms of their
their health, their healing, how religion play a part in terms of contributing to basic activities. And obviously, community cohesion is one of one way in doing that.
I'm just going to share very quickly, our time is short, and I'm sure you're all hungry as I am.
That's just a few ideas about how we achieve or how do we increase cohesion, I think one of the most important things is that we have to have the you have to appreciate the value of you have to appreciate it. And we have to be able to recognize it. When we when people interact with each other, there's so much to learn from each other. There's lots of things that we can learn from different societies. We heard, for example, about the Canadian model with refugees.
And simple other example, as I was speaking about how, for example, in Japan, the people who come to when they come to work, and they park it, the way they park their cars is the one who arrived, the first parks the furthest away, for example, and then so as people come, the one who arrives late to work, you'll find a spot closer to the entrance.
It's it's a small thing, but it just shows you that sometimes people are thinking in different ways, we wouldn't have known that if we didn't actually, you know, interact with different cultures. And so every culture, every community, every religion, every race, they have something to offer. And that's the kind of multiculturalism benefit that comes by, by
by learning from each other and obviously, managing to
build on that. Secondly, we have to have the firm conviction that cohesion
is achievable. And there must be a vision that as we strive to do this Kyler spoke about having, you know, even having small steps working on small steps, but at least there's a vision to get somewhere and even if every one of us does those small steps on shore, together we can achieve a lot because even in the worst communities there is there is a sign there because community is about calm unity coming together and working together. Also, there is an importance about working with differences and not trying to erase them today. You know, there are some there is a section in society which tries to do that everybody has to conform to the same ideals to the same understandings but and this
is not what
how people are, you know, people don't like to be forced to be thinking in a certain way and I don't think that any government practice
liberal societies will accept that they have to force their ideals on people today, we saw a couple years ago how in France,
women were forced at gunpoint to take off their clothes, they weren't happy to wear this working, that Muslim women were wearing to go to the beach, they were forced to take off their clothes, because they didn't conform to how we should dress at the beach, and so on. So things like that are not helpful.
We have to appreciate and we have to accept each other. And recently, we had the there was a bit of a debate about the whole world of Islamophobia. And even when the word Islamophobia comes out, people feel
a little those who don't like the word, think that it closes down debate and discourse about people who want to criticize Islam, or criticize Muslims or criticize them for honor. And in fact, when you actually open up on, you find that the Quran itself, it recalls the criticism against it. So the ground doesn't close down discourse and dialogue and actually invites you to make your point, you know, bring forward, but I think what is different today? And I think what's important for us, and this is something maybe there isn't, whereas there is a different issue.
I would say from the Muslim network, I can't speak on behalf of others, is this whole concept of the rights, the rights? And I think today, yes, a lot of people tried to push the right to offend, you know, I have the right to offend you. And therefore, I must offend you, and you must accept my right to offend you. And I think was okay, that might be an acceptable notion. But it goes against the whole premise of what we know today is hate speech and people who actually advocate for,
for hatred, and and therefore there must be a subtle acceptance. And that's why, finally, I think what we have to do is we have to start early.
You know, our children have to be nurtured and have to be bolted up on understanding the values of each other needs to be done, then, our religious institutions have a big role to play as well. We need to challenge we need to challenge the media, we need to just promote this kind of pace. messages, we need to challenge politicians when they also make
ill thought out comments, which again, can ostracize people and communities and we have to promote the whole concept of working together, this ISIS insincere at the community that we talked about. And we have to remember that it's
as the words of Edmund Burke, that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing. So if we don't do anything, then yes, things are not going to get better. But I'm really happy today that it will come today. Thank you for listening. Thank you for being part of this conference and I wish you all the best for future