In an effort to promote bridge-building and peaceful global existence, a new organization for Muslims in Europe has been launched in London. The Conference of European and British Muslim Leaders held its inaugural gathering, drawing the attention of the Muslim World League’s secretary-general, Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim al-Issa, who chaired the event.
The gathering attracted 300 scholars and religious leaders from the UK and European countries, who assembled for the launch and gala dinner at the Roundhouse in Camden. During the event, Dr. al-Issa emphasized the significance of the Charter of Makkah, calling it the most critical Islamic document in the modern era. Produced at a meeting in Makkah in 2019, the charter is now promoted globally by the Muslim World League and ratified in conferences of Muslim leaders.
The Charter of Makkah encourages coexistence within and between religions while denouncing terrorism and hatred. Dr. al-Issa highlighted the importance of coexistence, understanding, and cooperation, stating that division and rivalry have plagued Islam from its inception. He emphasized the duty of “optimal coexistence” with fellow citizens, regardless of diversity, to foster social cohesion and respect for a nation’s constitution, laws, and culture.
The Muslim World League, founded in Saudi Arabia in 1962, has evolved into a platform for promoting Islamic values that condemn terrorism and advocate interfaith work. The League also played a crucial role in the R20, a gathering of world religious leaders in Indonesia that ran parallel to the G20 last autumn.
European Muslim leaders at the inaugural conference gala dinner expressed their support for the Charter of Makkah and the newly established organization. Speakers addressed the challenges of religious illiteracy, the need to build the Muslim community, and the responsibility to defend Islam against hateful discourse. The ultimate goal is to convey Islam as a religion of peace, kindness, and justice.
Sir Iqbal Sacranie, former secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, announced the creation of the Europe-wide organization, which will be based in London. The new organization will implement the Charter of Makkah by acknowledging diversity, ensuring safety for different faiths, recognizing injustice and inequality, and protecting the environment.
Though the charter’s adoption worldwide relies on support from Muslims in each country, the goal of uniting all sects and branches of Islam remains a challenge. Despite any perceived “baggage” from Saudi Arabia’s involvement, Sir Iqbal expressed optimism that the charter will have a positive impact on communities.