Can Religion be an Antidote to Extremism?

Spoiler alert: yes!

This is the theme of the latest Open Discussions dialogue event in association with the Gulf Cultural Club. I have been privileged over the last few years to have organised, in partnership with my friend Dr Saaed Shehabi of Abrar House, an annual Christian-Muslim Christmas dialogue (including one on Mary, Mother of the Believers). The next event is on 20 December 2016 a date which falls between the birth anniversaries of the Prophet Muhammad and Jesus Christ.
The title of this event is ‘Religion vs Extremism.’

Our speakers will be:
Clive Hambidge *
Amina Inloes **
Marigold Bentley ***
Justine Huxley****

At a time when concepts and words have a multitude of meanings (post-truth), it is appropriate to derive the truth from the divine messages revealed to mankind through prophets and messengers. The birth anniversaries of Muhammad (17th December) and Jesus (25th December) provide an opportunity for rejoicing and deep contemplation. God’s religion is the standard for mankind in terms of belief, worship, moral behaviour and orderly conduct of life. At the present time of confusion, feelings of loss and spiritual void, divine religions can provide beacons of hope for those seeking the truth. God’s religion has all the positive qualities, and above all, it is the ultimate expression of “Moderation” - love, compassion and salvation. Let us congregate and enjoy the festive season with a message of hope to the inhabitants of this planet.

Time: 6.30pm Tuesday, 20th December 2016
Venue: Abrar House, 45 Crawford Place, W1H 4LP
*Clive Hambidge is Human Development Director at facilitate global a human right NGO. His articles and papers have been published among others in IRIN, Al Haram, The Palestinian Chronicle, Media With Conscience, Dandelion Salad, Sabbah Report, Al-Arabiya and London Progressive Journal. He also had numerous interviews with Press TV. Clive has over 30 years experience working with faith communities which include the Hindu Community in general and in particular with the Head of the London Sevaashram Sangha, Swami Nirliptinanda. He has acted for many years, in an emissary capacity to support the work of the former Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, his Grace Bishop Riah Abu Al Assal. 
**Amina Inloes is an American scholar, researcher, educator, public speaker and translator. She has written several books on Shia Islam. Inloes was born in Irvine, California, United States. She has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi’ia hadith about pre-Islamic female figures mentioned in the Qur’an. She works for the Research and Publications Department of the Islamic College and is programme leader for the MA Islamic Studies programme. Among her concerns are the women who are still suffering from social injustices in many parts of the world. She has written several publications on Islamic personalities and issues. 
***Marigold Bentley is a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and has worked on behalf of Quakers nationally and internationally for over 30 years. Her work has included service work in the Occupied Territories and Egypt during the 1980’s, and at the Quaker United Office in New York. During the 1990’s she worked in peace education, particularly in Northern Ireland and the Former Yugoslavia. She currently is Asst. General Secretary of Quaker Peace & Social Witness, which has a number of ongoing peace programmes. She is a member of the Ammerdown Rethinking Security Group. 
****Justine Huxley has been with St Ethelburga’s for ten years. Her work has focused on bringing people together in new ways, and building bridges across differences. This has involved designing and delivering a wide range of training courses on dialogue methods and group facilitation. She also developed the Centre’s innovative programme of work around personal storytelling and narrative, hosting conferences and workshops and helping to bring together and inspire a cross-disciplinary network of practitioners in this field. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology. She has written resources on group facilitation, uses of narrative and story in community building, interfaith dialogue methodology, and meditation in the workplace. More recently, she has developed the Centre’s model of conflict coaching, working with individuals supporting them to respond more effectively to personal and workplace conflict.
Admission is Free. Please register for catering purposes — email: or text 07795 660 438