Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Key principles of Islam are universal - Home Secretary

Key principles of Islam are Universal - Alan Johnson

Dr. Mozammel Haque

The key principles of Islam – the right to life, the right to worship, justice, freedom of expression and equality of opportunity – are universal. They apply to every nation, every faith group and every race. More fundamentally, we are celebrating common values which are a product of centuries of co-operation and collaboration,” said the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, M.P., while delivering his speech at the Eid-ul-Fitr reception at the Durbar Hall of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London, on Monday, the 12th of October 2009 in the presence of other three Cabinet Ministers; Saudi, Syrian, Sudanese, Turkish and other diplomats, community leaders, businessmen and media people.

While giving the historical background of deep relationship between Britain and Islam, after saying Eid Mubarak and thanking the Muslim community, the Home Secretary, said, “In the British Museum, there is a gold coin, minted in England in the 8th Century. On the front, it bears the name of King Offa of Mercia, an Anglo-Saxon king, whose dyke remains a tourist attraction. Inscribed in Arabic on the other side, by a Kentish coin maker, are a few phrases from the Qu’ran. So this is in the 8th century. Historians will long debate the coins’ significance. But at the very least, it serves as a reminder that the links between this country and Islam have very deep roots.”

Speaking about the British Muslim contribution, the Home Secretary said, “Tonight we are celebrating a relationship that’s exemplified by the contribution that Muslims make to every aspect of British life – in politics, academia, law, sport, the arts, healthcare, humanitarian aid, the military, business and finance. Islamic Relief received £6million during Ramadan thanks to UK Muslim communities. I think that’s a tremendous achievement that we should all applaud.”

Home Secretary also mentioned about the threat from the far right racist. “The threat from the far right racist it affects us all and it requires a united response,” Johnson said.

Home Secretary also mentioned, “There is a responsibility on government to tackle social exclusion, deprivation and discrimination in all its forms – we know that in our schools and universities, only a fraction of the potential of young Pakistanis and Bangladeshis is realised, despite significant improvements in recent years. And we know that there are Muslim communities in the UK which are disproportionately affected by poverty and unemployment, or face discrimination and harassment because of their faith or race.”

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