Introduction to the Universal Peace Federation
The Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA)
was founded to support the academic community’s role in the pursuit of world peace. PWPA publishes books, the International Journal on World Peace, organizes conferences, and is a network of academics from around the world. It was founded in Korea in 1973 and presently has chapters in over 100 countries. It was very active in the UK in the 1980s convening a major congress entitled 'Liberal Democratic Societies: Their Present State and Future Prospects' in 1989. We wish to revive the British branch in the UK, named The British Academy for World Peace as there are a number of issues that could benefit from its cross-disciplinary and inter-religious approach.
Click here for the main PWPA site
9 July 2008 - The British Academy for World Peace, in partnership with UPF, held a book launch and special presentation by Professor Lord Bhikhu Parekh in London. Lord Parekh laid out the context of the dialogue between Muslims and the indigenous European community by looking at the stages of immigration and the resulting pressures these brought.
William Haines - Civil Law and Religious Law
March 11th, 2008
William Haines said he was not surprised by the response to the Archbishop's comments on Sharia. The anti-Islamic comments were not unexpected. What was shocking was the vilification of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, suggesting that there was no place whatsoever for religion in English law and that the Archbishop had no business to be speaking on such matters.
On March 11th 2008 there was very stimulating discussion dealing with the practice of Shariah law within the UK legal system raised by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan William. Speakers included Rev. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke (click for speech), Rabbi Simon J. Franses, Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid and William Haines.
Rev. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke emphasised that most people of faith believe that God's laws have primacy over civil laws. He posed the question whether our faiths measure up to the universal values that are grounded in our belief in God and that are to be found with more of less clarity in all our faith traditions.
Rev. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke emphasised that most people of faith believe that God’s laws have primacy over civil laws. He posed the question whether our faiths measure up to the universal values that are grounded in our belief in God and that are to be found with more or less clarity in all our faith traditions. These universal values were sought in the 1993 Parliament of World Religion’s four irrevocable directives and in the book Stepping Stones to a Global Ethic. These Directives include a commitment to a culture of non-violence and to respect for human life, commitment to a culture of solidarity for a just economic order, commitment to a culture of tolerance and a life of truthfulness, commitment to a culture of equal rights and partnership between men and women.
Jewish people have a tradition to obey the law of the land they live in since the time of the Prophet Jeremiah. The Jewish court, the Beth Din, is a religious court between two parties who desire its judgement in their case. The courts judgements can be ignored and the case can revert to the civil court. The Jewish community has received the right to have its marriages recognised by civil authorities and to marry outside a synagogue. Rabbi Franses praised the democracy in the UK that has provided an equality under the law that a theocracy could never provide. Under such a democracy it is possible for us to unite beyond race, religion and cultural backgrounds.
Rev Dr Marcus Braybrooke is my mentor and my elder in the interfaith field. I have followed in his footsteps in the interfaith movement. I have been involved in interfaith since 1973. It is a credit to the Universal Peace Federation for bringing us all on the same platform. This debate has been provoked by the Archbishop of Canterbury's speech on the 8th of March. He said that Shariah law is unavoidable and that is the most controversial point in the speech. Muslims are asking for this and the Archbishop of Canterbury was seen as becoming the spokesman for the Muslims in this country. He is advocating Shariah law which means chopping the hands and cutting off heads!
What is Shari'ah and can it be incorporated into British Legal System?
by IMAM DR Abduljalil Sajid
The Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony
Shari`ah literary means mode and path. However, religiously the term "Shari`ah" is used for the laws of Islam. The word Shari`ah in its various derivative forms is found in five different places in the Holy Qur'an.
Shari`ah is the set of rules derived from 1) the Holy Qur'an which Muslims believe is the word God revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) over 23 years, ending in 632 CE, 2) the authentic traditions (Sunnah) of the Prophet (peace be upon him) or example of the Prophet Muhammad, whom Muslims believe was divinely guided and 3) the scholarly opinions (Ijtehad) based on the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah. All Islamic teachings can be divided into two main parts: a) those that relate to the belief-structure of Islam, and b) those that relate to the practical aspects of human life. The former is known as Al-Hikmah (or the philosophy) of Islam and the latter is termed as Al-Shari`ah of Islam. The shari`ah deals with the ideology and faith; behaviour and manners; and practical daily matters e.g all aspects of human life. "To each among you, we have prescribed a law and a clear way". (The Holy Qur 'an 5:48). Shari`ah is a human interpretation of the sacred text of the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah.