Muslim Action Committee
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Campaigning for Global Civility globalcivility.com
Europe’s biggest Muslim march against the publication of insulting caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) will also ask for an endorsement of a document calling for ‘global civility’ and changes to the press complaints commission’s code of conduct.
The ‘Proclamation for Global Civility’ calls for four key principles:
1. the recognition that ‘human dignity is a fundamental right’
2. the need for any serious debate to be conducted ‘through good manners and etiquette’
3. the desire to avoid irresponsible behaviour that leads to ‘vilification and demonisation of each other and our communities’
4. the significance of mutual respect based on ‘sincere insight of each other’ necessary for a harmonious co-existence
The march and ‘Proclamation of Global Civility’ have been organised by the Muslim Action Committee – a collection of hundreds of Muslim groups and individuals across Britain led by religious scholars (the Ulema).
Shaykh Faiz Siddiqi, the MAC National Convener, said:
“Enough is enough. Our march is based on our love for the Prophet of Islam, peace be upon him. Our message is that we are alarmed at the collapse of the whole concept and practice of civility in the recent events that began in Denmark. This is the direct result of the lack of respect and civility in society and in our lack of moral or ethical direction. This is leading towards a world void of human decency – a world of extremes which couldn’t be any further from civilised society.
“We believe the demands we are making are necessary in order for any civil society to exist. Unless we are prepared to respect everyone – ourselves and our neighbours we will be surrounded by chaos.”
Maulana Syed Muzammil Hussain Shah said
“This demonstration is a historical gathering of unity based on love of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). The strength of this movement is its grass roots support.”
Maulana Ghulam Rabbani said
“This is not just a demonstration that will end today. This is the beginning of a new process led by Islamic scholars, a process of dialogue with the wider community”
Imran Waheed said:
“The Muslim community is not afraid of engaging in real debate, in fact we welcome it, but do not use insult as a basis or excuse for a debate”
Massoud Shahjareh said:
“This demonstration motivated by the love of the Prophet, peace be upon him, is focused on creating and enhancing a just and civil society for all and to expose all hypocrisies.”
The MAC is demanding amendments to the Press Complaints Commission Code of Practice that would discourage the publishing of reckless and malicious expressions insulting or desecrating anyone’s creed or conscience, including pictures. Also the press must avoid any publication or reference leading to provocation, incitement to violence or hatred based upon an individual’s race or religion.
Shaykh Faiz Siddiqi added:
“There is only way forward. First, all those who have published these offending caricatures have to give an unconditional apology. The copyrights of the cartoons need to be given to Muslims and, finally, the publications in questions must publish a saying of the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, every day for a year. This in turn would give the readers of those publications the opportunity to know exactly what contributions the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, made in promoting global civility.”
Up to 50,000 people – including women and children – are expected to attend the rally at Trafalgar Square which is to be followed by a march to Hyde Park. More than 500 coaches have been confirmed booked from across the country. Thousands others are expected to descend to central London either by private or public transport.
The rally will be addressed by more than a dozen speakers including Shaykh Faiz Siddiqi, Maulana Saqib Shami, Maulana Ghulam Rabbani, Maulana Syed Muzammil Hussain Shah, Salma Yaqub, Massoud Shadjareh and Dr Imran Waheed. The crowd will also be entertainment by Shaam, one of Britain’s leading Muslim nasheed group.
After the rally the gathering will march to Hyde Park where a special prayer will be held.
Notes to Editors:
Rally will begin at 10.30am at Trafalgar Square
March to Hyde Park will start at 1.30pm.
Please find copies (pasted below) of the Proclamation of Global Civility and MAC’s statement of intent or visit:
We currently have over 350 Mosques and Islamic organisations supporting the MAC
For further details please see www.globalcivility.com for all contact and Rally details.
Statement of Intent
1. Why are we here?
(a) To show our feelings and anger about the insult to our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
(b) To say, “Enough is enough!” The rights and protection enjoyed by others should be extended to Muslims.
(c) To invite and encourage a genuine debate based upon the principles of civility.
2. What is the way forward?
(a) To amend the Press Complaints Commission Code of Practice with the following 3 changes:
(Section 1, Accuracy, new clause)
iii) The Press must take care not to publish reckless and malicious expressions insulting or desecrating anyone’s creed or conscience, including pictures.
(Section 12, Discrimination, addition of ‘insulting’ in clause (i))
(i) The press must avoid prejudicial, insulting or pejorative reference to an individual\’s race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.
(Section 12, Discrimination, addition new clause (iii))
(iii) The press must avoid any publication or reference leading to provocation, incitement to violence or hatred based upon an individual’s race or religion.
(b) A full apology by the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten and all others who re-printed the caricatures for offending 1.6 billion Muslims, and
• to hand over the rights of the cartoons to Muslims;
• to publish one saying of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) every day for 1 year, promoting civility, as selected by the Muslim Action Committee;
• the proceeds from the defamatory caricatures to be given in trust to children’s charities.
(c) For the world leaders, media, politicians and all people to consider and sign up to the ‘Proclamation of Global Civility’.
Civility: A New Direction
In today’s global village the challenges we face in dealing with our differences are far greater than those faced by civilisations of the past. The paradigm of diversity has changed through advances in communication, science, technology and speed of travel. This has resulted in a mass exchange of people and ideas. Globalisation has created new and unprecedented trials and tribulations to the interface of diversity.
The social fabric of society has never been solely governed by laws and regulations but has been enacted in essence through reflections of creed and conscience. Given the tensions of modern society, there is a dire need for individuals and communities to exercise responsibility and sensitivity in their conduct.
The Principles of Global Civility
Maxim: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”
1. We recognise that individual and collective human dignity is a fundamental right and that the desecration of such through insult, denigration or humiliation is morally and ethically wrong.
2. Passionate emotions must be harnessed and channelled through good manners and etiquette to civilise any debate in our diverse society.
Maxim: “Love for your brother what you love for yourself”
3. Reckless and malicious expressions leads to vilification and demonisation of each other and our communities.
4. Our interdependency is the rule and not the exception. It is essential for us to have a sincere insight of each other that should lead to sustainable civility resulting in harmonious existence.
A Global Social Contract
I, the undersigned agree that through mutual consideration and the revival of civility as a shared medium of dialogue we are better equipped to reconstructing a more enlightened society.