Refugees & Migrants: what is the current crisis telling us?

Refugees & Migrants: what is the current crisis telling us?


Syrian Breakfast (photo: Daniel Ersdale)

Join us for a Syrian Breakfast to mark the UN International Day of Peace 2015 at Collaboration House, 77 Charlotte St, London W1T 4PW (5 mins walk from Goodge St tube)

Monday 21 September 8.15am – 9.30am

We’ll be welcoming speakers from different walks of life: Phil Champain, Director of 3FF (formerly of International Alert), Dr Maha Azzam, policy expert on the Middle East, Dr Omer Hamdoon (Muslim Council of Britain) & Steve Miller (Faith-based Regeneration Network). There will be a chance for everyone to add their own thoughts and reflections.

London Peace Network in association with the Christian Muslim Forum, East London Mosque & the Faith-based Regeneration Network.

Quakers’ Marigold Bentley on Radio 2 today

Quakers’ Marigold Bentley on Radio 2 today

Marigold speaking at Monday's Peace Conference.  Photo: William Barylo

Marigold speaking at Monday’s Peace Conference.

Marigold Bentley, who was the closing keynote speaker at the Peace Conference on Monday, will be a guest on Radio 2 today between 12 noon and 12.20pm.

She’ll be talking about the UN International Day of Peace and the current international situation.

Marigold is the Assistant General Secretary, Quaker Peace & Social Witness & Secretary, Quaker Committee for Christian and Interfaith Relations.

Peace flyers for 19, 20, 21 September!

Peace flyers for 19, 20, 21 September!

Peace flyers for Islamic centres, synagogues, churches and meeting houses are now ready!

Click on the images below to download the flyers.

Send links to friends, colleagues, neighbours and networks, encouraging them to open up their places of worship, inviting in neighbouring communities and visitors during peace weekend.


Flyer for Islamic centres


Flyer for synagogues and Jewish centres.


Flyer for churches, Meeting Houses and Christian centres.


We are delighted that the Quakers have added their support this year, and that Religions for Peace UK are also encouraging their members to get involved.

Islamic centres will be receiving visitors on Friday 19 September, synagogues on Saturday 20 September and churches and Meeting Houses on Sunday 21 September.

Everyone participating will be part of a world wide weekend of action for peace-making, truce, reconciliation, mediation, ceasefire and a celebration of peace-building.

If you have any questions or would like to know more, please contact the people listed on the flyers or the London Peace Network.

London Peace Network plans for 2014

London Peace Network plans for 2014

Planning any peace-building activities this year?

The London Peace Network team is gathering on Monday 17 February & we’re excited to hear about your ideas.

Let us know if you’d like to link up and be part of the Network’s activities this year.  Can we support you?  Could we work together?

We’ll be building on our plans so far:

  • marking the UN International Day of Peace over the weekend of 19-21 September
  • Flying for Peace across the Thames (September)
  • exchange visits and peace activities in schools & colleges
  • Peace-Skyping across the continents
  • an energetic launch event
  • bringing together our local communities to celebrate grassroots peace-building
  • practical skills workshops
  • involving our European and global networks & linking up with activities across the UK
  • promoting peace and justice activities across the capital

Find us on Facebook and follow us on twitter.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Occasional Papers published

Occasional Papers published

Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future - picThis booklet was published on the International Day of Peace in 2012 by the Cordoba Foundation.  It was distributed internationally through Islamic Centres, religious networks and online.

The lead article by Dr Mustafa Ceric was read to congregations in mosques across Bosnia on 21st September.

Messages of support from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Jeremy Gilley and others are included.

Hard copies are available from the Cordoba Foundation.

It is estimated that over 320 Islamic centres in the UK participated in the International Day of Peace initiative, over 500 overseas in at least 25 countries and over one million people participated worldwide.

21 September | Hussaini Mission Isleworth

At the Hussaini Mission in Isleworth, the UN International Day of Peace was mentioned in the sermon, followed by an innovative interfaith programme.

There was an art exhibition and religious leaders from the Jewish, Christian (both Catholic and protestant), Sikh, Buddhist and Muslim (both Sunni and Shia) spoke.

The event included the local MP and councillors.  Two main Pakistan TV stations covered it, Geo TV and Ary TV, as well as the local paper and the leading Pakistani paper the Jang.

At the end of the programme, 14 candles were lit by all the leaders involved.

The food was excellent!

Thank you to all at the Husseini Mission and to Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi.

22 September | Imperial War Museum

Zahra and Catriona in the huge atrium of the Imperial War Museum.

Zahra Imame of the Christian Muslim Forum, Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi of Majlis-e-Ulama Europe and Catriona Robertson (LBFN) took part in the Imperial War Museum‘s events to mark the UN International Day of Peace on Saturday 22nd September.

The supporting film for the London Peace Network’s activities was shown and we took part in a discussion later in the day, Starting in Neutral: What does neutrality matter in 21st century humanitarian conflict response?   

This brought together speakers from Conciliation Resources, Médecins Sans Frontières,  the International Committee of the Red Cross and International Alert in a discussion covering the meaning, problems and perceptions around neutrality in conflict and post-conflict zones.

The Museum is interested in including alternative narratives and stories about its displays, particularly those relating to recent armed conflict, and we hope to be working with them on this in the future.

21 September | Westminster gathering of London Peace Network

A few photos from our gathering at Westminster on Friday, ahead of the many peace-building events led by Islamic centres across the capital, the UK and overseas.  Lord Bates kindly welcomed us to Westminster Hall.

The Cordoba Foundation’s Occasional Paper, “Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future” was published to coincide with the UN International Day of Peace, with a lead article by the Grand Mufti of Bosnia and a message of support from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Thank you Umar Qureshi (Forum for International Relations Development) for taking the photographs.

Dr Shaffi (Muslim Council of Britain), Sayed Yousif Al-Khoei (MINAB & Al-Khoei Foundation) and Baroness Uddin.

Abdullah Faliq (The Cordoba Foundation), Sayed Ali Abbas Rasawi (Majlis-e-Ulama Europe), Revd Esme Beswick MBE (Christian Muslim Forum), Toufik Kacimi (Muslim Welfare House & Islington Faiths Forum), seated at end of rows.

Anas Altikriti, Chief Executive of The Cordoba Foundation.

Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi (Majlis-e-Ulama Europe) and Revd Nadim Nassar (Awareness Foundation).

Catriona Robertson (Convener, London Peace Network and London Boroughs Faiths Network) and Lord Michael Bates.

Baroness Uddin.

Dr Shaffi, Muslim Council of Britain.

Sayed Yousif Al-Khoei, Al-Khoei Foundation and MINAB.

Shaynul Khan, East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre.

Julian Bond, Christian Muslim Forum.

Abdullah Faliq, Dr Shuja Shaffi, Umar Qureshi, Lord Bates, Julian Bond and Anas Altikriti.

Baroness Uddin and Catriona Robertson

21 September | Lords of the Blog – Lord Bates

Lord Bates, champion of the Olympic Truce, writes about our gathering on Friday on Lords of the Blog.

“At lunchtime today I attended a short and moving service in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster where representatives from many faith groups were brought together under the auspices of London Peace Network to mark the International Day of Peace.  

In turn we simply shared our united desire for peace not in a superficial way which denied our own sincerely held religious convictions and traditions but through drawing on our our traditions we found the common elements of peace and forgiveness to share with each other.

I was particularly impressed by the representatives of  London’s Islamic centres and mosques who the media might lead us to believe stirring up riots against the latest provocative anti-Islamic video and burning flags, but they were instead embracing the UN International Day of Peace by inviting those from all faiths and none to join them at Friday Prayers (Salaatul-Jumu’a) for prayers for peace, to exchange messages of peace, to celebrate local peace building efforts and to enjoy hospitality and friendship with one another.”

The London Peace Network is delighted that Lord Bates, who promoted the Olympic Truce by walking 3,000 miles from Olympia – through the Balkans and many other historic battlefields – to London, joined us on the International Day of Peace.  Read the full text of his blog here.


21 September | Islamic and Christian leaders meet in Baghdad

Senior scholars and clergy from four traditions met in Baghdad on 21 September to mark the International Day of Peace 2012.

A senior Roman Catholic clergyman and scholars from the Shi’a (Sayyed Jawad al-Khoei) and Sunni (Dr Khalid Abdul-Wahab Mulla) traditions in Najaf travelled to Baghdad to visit Canon Andrew White (Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East) at the Anglican church.

They read passages from the Qur’an and from the Bible and prayed for peace together to mark the International Day of Peace.

Sayed Yousif Al-Khoei OBE of the Al Khoei Foundation, a member of the London Peace Network, helped arrange this significant visit and said, “Current events worldwide too readily lead to stereotyping and violence which harms us all.”  He added, “Such trench warfare leads nowhere, so we must come out of those trenches and embrace each other.”

The group later visited the Christian Dominican community in Baghdad.

Islamic scholars being welcomed to the Dominican Priory in Baghdad on 21 September.


Together at the Dominican Priory, Baghdad, on the International Day of Peace.


Invitation to mini-launch at the House of Commons | 21 September 11.30am

Lord Bates, the champion of the Olympic Truce, has kindly invited us to launch our International Day of Peace activities at Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament on Friday 21 September at 11.30am.

We will also be launching The Cordoba Foundation’s Occasional Paper, Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future, which includes contributions on the subject of peace from the Grand Mufti of Bosnia-Hertzegovina and the Archbishop of Canterbury.  Please download the invitation here.

It will be more of a mini-launch, since everyone will need to leave at 12.15pm for the huge range of activities planned at Islamic centres and mosques across the capital during and after Friday Prayers (Salaatul-Jumu’a).

If you would like to join us, please let us know and we will add your name to the guest list.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Over fifty Islamic Centres marking International Day of Peace

The UN International Day of Peace is on Friday and already we are aware of over 50 Islamic centres and mosques which will be participating.

If you know of others, please let us know so we can add them below.

Visit by scholars in Najaf to Baghdad, Iraq

Careva Džamija, The Emperor’s Mosque, Sarajevo, Bosnia

Gazi Husrevbegova Džamija, Gazi Husrevbey Mosque (Central Mosque), Sarajevo, Bosnia

Džamija Kralj Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, King Fahd Mosque and Islamic Centre, Sarajevo, Bosnia

Istiklal Džamija, Istiqlal Mosque, Sarajevo, Bosnia

Imam Haroon Mosque, Bangkok, Thailand

Ghandi Centre / North East Interfaith Forum, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS) – Islamic Religious Council of Singapore

Nima Central Mosque, Accra, Ghana

Madrassah Maa’had al Quran al Kareem, Peshawar, Pakistan

Jamia Khair-ul-Madaris,Multan – Pakistan

Jamia Ashrafia, Lahore, Pakistan

Ibadan Mosque, Nigeria

Finsbury Park Mosque, Islington, London

Al-Khoei Foundation School & visit to Mosque, Brent, London

East London Mosque, Tower Hamlets, London

The London Central Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre, Camden, London

Tooting Islamic Centre, Wandsworth, London

Balham Mosque, Wandsworth, London

Hyderi Islamic Centre, Lambeth, London

Stockwell Mosque, Lambeth, London

As-Shifa (Bobbers Mill), Nottingham

Karimia Masjid, Nottingham

Wollaton Masjid, Nottingham

Westferry Community Masjid, Tower Hamlets, London

South London Islamic Centre, Lambeth, London

Leicester Central Mosque

Al Asr Education and Community Centre, Woking

Al Noor Institute, Lambeth, London

Idara-e-Jafferiya, Tooting, London

Markaz-e-Ahlul Bayt, Clapham, London

Sakina Trust, Walthamstow, London

Al Hussain Mosque, Cheatham Hill, Manchester

Islamic Thought, Peterborough

Anjuman Mohibban e Ahlebait, Burnley, Lancashire

Alanwar Alnajafia, Newport, Wales

Hussaini Islamic Mission, Twickenham, Middlesex

Hosseinieh Foundation, Bristol

Old Kent Road Mosque, Southwark, London

Abubakr Mosque, Ealing, London

Dar Al Islam Foundation, London

London Fatwa Council

Central Jamia Mosque Ghamkol Sharif

Leeds Makkah Masjid

Qadria Jilani Islamic Centre, Manchester

Goodge Street Mosque, Camden, London

Southampton Medina Mosque, Southampton, Hampshire

Shia Ithna’Askari Community of Middlesex, Harrow

Harlesden Ummah, Brent, London

Brent Muslim Cultural Centre, Brent, London

Leeds Dar Ahlulbayt, Leeds

Edinburgh Ahlul Bayt Society, University of Edinburgh



Peace on Friday – LPN’s film at Imperial War Museum

Come along to a screening of the London Peace Network’s short film Peace on Friday at the Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ.

It will be shown on Saturday 22nd September at 12 noon, followed by a Q & A session with some of those involved in the Islamic Centres initiative.

Download the programme or find details of all the events on the IWM’s Build The Truce blog.

Pointers for International Day of Peace 21 September

A growing number of mosques and Islamic centres are planning to open their doors to visitors on 21st September.

The Cordoba Foundation has put together some Pointers for Mosques and Islamic Centres who are participating on Friday 21st September.

There is also a template poster to download and use to invite visitors.

New Facebook page | Islamic Centres opening on 21 September

Share the Facebook page with your friends and networks

The beautiful graphic on our flyer (thanks to The Cordoba Foundation) for 21st September is now on the brand new Facebook page (thanks to MINAB).

A growing number of Islamic centres here in the UK and overseas are inviting visitors to exhange messages of peace on Friday 21st September.

The two key actions for each Islamic centre are

1) to invite visitors (faith leaders, community organisations, schools) to observe Salaatul-Jumu’a on Friday 21st September and

2) to exchange messages of peace with the visitors (suggested texts are on the flyer)

They may also choose peace as the topic for the khutbah/sermon, offer simple hospitality to the guests and celebrate local peace-building activities.

Every Islamic centre will be participating in its own way – some will welcome one or two people, others will invite many more.  Those who register will receive a special certificate, so be sure to let the London Peace Network or one of the contacts on the flyer know you are planning to mark the Day!

London smiles as the Olympic Truce flag flies in Westminster

The Olympic Truce flag flies from St Margaret’s Church, Westminster, during London’s Olympic Games.

The Olympic Truce flag has been flying in the heart of London, between the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.

A surge of goodwill during London 2012 and the forging of a renewed British identity has been recognised: more relaxed, at ease with its pluralism and “where people were full of ideas and worked for the common good” (Sarah Crompton, Daily Telegraph).

British gold medalists have come from a wide range of backgrounds.  After stunning performances from Mo Farah, Jess Ennis and Greg Rutherford last weekend, the Twitter joke ran, “A Muslim, a mixed race lass & a ginger bloke walk into a bar.  Everyone gets them a drink.”  Sneering and bullying suddenly dropped right out of fashion.

The prominence of female athletes has been noted.  Commentators have been surprised to recognise, in non-Olympic times, women’s relative absence from public life as hard-working and successful members of society.

Jonathan Freedland wrote in the Guardian,

We got a glimpse of another kind of Britain.

A place which succeeds brilliantly, not least by drawing equally on all its talents, black and white, male and female.

A place where money and profit are not the only values, exemplified by the 70,000 volunteers who made the Games work and showed the world a smiling face while they were at it.

A place that reveres not achievement-free celebrity, but astonishing skill, granite determination and good grace.

Religious and community groups have been working together before and during the Games – offering hospitality, training on non-violent responses to conflict, inter faith walks, breaking the Ramadan fast with visitors, creating City Safe Havens, ringing bells for the Olympic Truce, arts festivals, fighting hate crime, questioning the narratives surrounding armed conflict, twinned projects exploring  minorities and majorities in Pakistan and in the UK – and more.  Much of this has been seen on the pages of the London Peace Network blog.

The 70,000 volunteer Gamesmakers have won plaudits from the President of the International Olympic Committee who praised “the kindness of the volunteers“.  The Telegraph writes, “For the duration of the Olympics, London has put a smile on its face.”

For many local communities – which are often at the sharp end of violence both here in the UK and overseas – generosity of spirit, fair play, understanding and negotiating difference, living peacefully together and a smile are all highly valued.  This is what the members of the London Peace Network are engaged in, day in, day out, and what they will be promoting as part of the Olympic Truce all summer.  Watch this space for news of a significant burst of activities on 21 September.

Mosques & Islamic Centres | International Day of Peace 21 Sept

The London Peace Network has been working on something very special coming up this autumn.   View and download the flyer here.

This year the International Day of Peace, which is marked each year on 21 September, falls on a Friday.

Islamic centres across the UK and overseas will be leading their local communities in marking the day.

They will invite visitors to join them during or after Friday Prayers to exchange messages of peace, to celebrate local peace-building activities and to enjoy the hospitality offered.

Local schools, churches, synagogues, temples, gurdwaras and community organisations will be invited to observe the day by accepting these invitations.

Some Islamic Centres in the UK are pairing up with a nearby church, religious community or school and linking their observance of the International Day of Peace to similar pairs overseas.

The following Muslim centres and organisations will be marking the International Day of Peace this year.

Al-Khoei Islamic Centre

East London Mosque

The London Central Mosque and the Islamic Cultural Centre

Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board

Muslim Council of Britain

Majlis-e-Ulama Europe

We invite you to join them and to participate by inviting visitors, or by accepting invitations, to mark the occasion at your local mosque or Islamic centre.

To find out more, or to register your Mosque or Islamic Centre on the online Directory, please contact the London Peace Network.

Further information: each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The United Nations General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.