Monday, 9 December 2013

A Declaration of Muslim Unity

The South African Petition
The MCB Statement

The South African Petition
You can sign the petition below at :
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/a-declaration-of-muslim-unity

A Declaration of Muslim Unity

· Whosoever is an adherent of the recognised Sunni and Shi’i Schools of Jurisprudence is a Muslim;

· It is not possible to declare as apostates any group of Muslims who believe in Allah the Mighty and Sublime and Allah’s Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon him) and respects the pillars of Islam;

· There exists more in common between the various Schools of Jurisprudence than there are differences. The adherents to these Schools of Jurisprudence are in agreement as regards the basic principles of Islam, the five pillars of Islam and the foundations of belief;

· Acknowledging the diversity of Schools of Jurisprudence and affirming discussion and engagement between them ensures fairness, moderation, mutual forgiveness, compassion, and only by engaging in dialogue with our fellow Muslims can we advance our understanding of our faith and

· Historically these various Schools have lived in relative harmony in various countries and find commonality in the annual Hajj pilgrimage where they all gather in a display or universalism and unity.

Consequently,

· We are deeply apprehensive at the way in which discourse in the Muslim community is beginning to assume a sectarian dimension;

· We are aware that the entrenched sectarian fault lines adds to the already existing tensions within our beleaguered communities;

· We witness with great sorrow the destructive potential of sectarian strife as evidenced in present day Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, Pakistan and other countries;

· We are conscious of the strategy of ‘divide and rule’ used by colonial and imperial powers to subjugate the Muslim world;

· We call on all Muslims to recognize that, as in the past, ethnic and sectarian fragmentation can only benefit those who oppose Muslim self-determination;

· We recognise that conflicts in areas of the Middle-East are driven primarily by political considerations and that religious sectarianism is imposed on such conflicts in order to drive particular ideological and political agendas;

· We express our concern that the ‘Ulama organisations in this country are at the forefront of creating this sectarian strife, in what seems an orchestrated campaign driven by foreign elements;

· We are all too conscious that one cannot separate the emotive discourse used to promote sectarian division from its violent consequences;

· We are particularly concerned that agencies involved in the distribution of aid are becoming sectarian and engaging in political and ideological partisanship;

· We urge Muslims throughout the world to shun the language of sectarian mischief or strife in favour of a sacred struggle for justice, freedom and self-determination, and

· We appeal to all Muslims to be inspired by the spirit and principles of mutual recognition, mutual respect, pluralism and solidarity. * (extracts from the Sunni Shia Unity Declaration launched in the UK in 2007)

We call on the South African Muslim community to:
· Desist from using religious platforms to divide the community along sectarian lines;

· Desist from labelling as apostates those who believe in the pillars of the faith;

· Avoid creating a religious dimension to conflicts that are fundamentally geo-political;

· Avoid supporting aid agencies that play a sectarian and divisive role in our communities;

· Embrace legitimate differences within our community with respect and compassion, and

· Support all struggles for freedom, liberty and self-determination around the world.

8 December 2013, South Africa

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The MCB statement
The MCB has the following statement here:
http://www.mcb.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2350:intrafaithunity&catid=82:mcb-news, you may wish to ask your own org to sign it too.

A Commitment To Muslim Intra-Faith Unity in the United Kingdom

WHERAS WE, the Muslims of the United Kingdom, comprise of one of the most diverse Muslim communities on earth: reflecting the rich diverse ethnic and religious mosaic that makes up the Muslim Ummah.

WHEREAS the promise of transition in the Middle East and Muslim world is now threatened by instability, which is increasingly being expressed as a ‘Sunni-Shia’ confrontation. It exacerbates the limited theological differences, while ignoring the vast areas of commonality and the core foundations on which all Muslims stand.

WHEREAS WE, as British Muslims, strive to live in harmony and cohesion, and agree that the challenges of the future should supersede the problems of the past, we are keen to offer any help and join hands with all those who wish well for our Ummah, stopping this vicious cycle of violence in the Middle-East and Muslim world which is abhorrent to all Islamic values and principles.

WE are resolved to prevent this tragedy from spilling over to our Muslim society in the United Kingdom.

To this end, we call on all British Muslims to honour the following code:

1. We believe in the oneness and supremacy of Allah, in Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the seal of the prophets and the last receiver of a divine scripture, and in the viability and authenticity of the Glorious Quran, and who faces the qibla (direction of the Ka’bah) in prayers. As such no group or individual shall use, propagate or tolerate the rhetoric of takfir (charge of unbelief) for anyone.

2. We shall respect each other and our differences and be sensitive to the personalities, places and events that any group amongst us hold in esteem. In our respective disagreements, we shall abide by the Islamic manner (adab) of disagreement that is neither inflammatory nor insulting.

3. We shall avoid hate and condescending speech and literature in our midst and join to condemn violent rhetoric by reasonable means.

4. Our places of worship, the sanctity of which is not diminished by their difference, deserve protection. We resolve that attacks on these places of worship are attacks on us all, giving cause for the strongest possible response.

5. We call on our Ulama from all traditions to form a positive space for reconciliation and cooperation. The forum will facilitate responses that challenge our intra-faith unity.

6. While the precarious international situation will no doubt heighten our concern and activism, we are resolved to campaign in an inclusive, non-sectarian manner.

7. Above all, we shall emphasise areas of commonality, the virtue of compassion and empathy and the awareness that Allah is closer to us than our heart and veins and He the Almighty is recording our thoughts and intentions, as well as our words and deeds.

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