On 25th November a number of our members went to Conway Hall to listen to a round-table discussion under the general banner of ‘Looking for Common Ground’ with the topic ‘How can Humanists and Muslims live and work together in 21st Century London?’
The evening was chaired by Alom Shaha (author of ‘The Young Atheists Handbook’) who held ten minute discussions with each of the individual participants before a round-table discussion and then taking questions from the audience. The initial short discussions enabled us to be introduced to all the participants and to understand something of their backgrounds and attitudes to their faith. The discussion and response to questions that followed was fascinating, thought-provoking and an inspiring example of dialogue between two different systems of belief. Perhaps the most important point to come across throughout the whole evening was the need to find and nurture our shared humanity and to encourage continued dialogue and understanding.
The panel were:
Mamadou Bocoum (Public Relations Officer for the Sharia Council)
Sara Khan (Co-founder and director of the human rights charity Inspire)
Yasmin Rehman (from the Centre for Secular Space and a researcher into polygamy and the law)
Huda Jawad (Advisor at the Centre for Academic Shi’a Studies and a research coordinator for Solace Women’s Aid).
If you couldn’t make the evening but are interested to listen to the discussion, an audio file of the evening can be found here.
This was the first ‘Pan-London’ event organised by Central London Humanists, South West London Humanists, the British Humanist Association and with other Humanist groups across London helping to support and promote the event.
There will be continuing collaboration and support across the London Humanist groups in the future, to help support Pan-London events. We also hope that this ‘Common Ground’ discussion will be the first in a series of events, with the aim to promote and facilitate dialogue, collaboration and understanding across different faiths and sections of society.