Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Faith Leaders in City Join Together to Push for Peace

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Faith Leaders in City Join Together to Push for Peace

Article excerpt

Byline: Lisa Hutchinson Reporter lisa.hutchinson@ncjmedia.co.uk

RELIGIOUS leaders in Newcastle united following the Paris massacre in a seminar to promote peace, love and understanding in our region.

To mark Inter-Faith Week, the Newcastle Council of Faiths organised a day of seminars and talks addressing radicalism and cultural harmony, at the city's St Nicholas' Cathedral.

The Anti-Radicalisation Mentoring and Awareness Network's seminar titled 'Common Ground for the Common Good' seeks to fight terrorism and extremism in school children. Inter Faith Week has been observed throughout the UK since 2008 to strengthen good inter-faith relations, augment awareness of different and distinct faith communities as well as increase understanding between people of religious and non-religious belief. Leading the seminar was AMAN chairperson and Pakistani reporter Nabeela Ali, of Fenham, Newcastle.

She said: "Those who opt for extremism are either misled, due to limited knowledge of Islam, or brain-washed to get them into the extremist mode."

She added: "There is no room for extremism or radicalisation or terrorism in Islam. Rather, Islam puts a duty on all Muslims to come forward and save others from becoming radicalised.

"AMAN was set up earlier this year to counter the distorted version of Islamic teachings used by Jihadi organisations for justifying the killing of innocent people, as well as fighting the Islamophobia being spread by the negative media coverage of Islam.

"We wish to assure other communities that Muslims living in the UK are not at war with the west and vice versa. We also aim to draw parallels between British values, which are in fact universal human values, and the Islamic teachings so that our children and youth develop a sense of belonging to this country and contribute positively towards society instead of remaining vulnerable to the extremist ideologies. …

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