Challenging Hate – Islam, Conflict and Peacebuilding
Speaker: Sheikh Prof Mustafa Ceric
Date: Friday 29 August 2014
Time: 7.45 pm
Venue: Singapore Expo Max Atria
A special fundraiser for Gaza Emergency Relief Fund
About Sheikh Prof Mustafa Ceric
Dr. Mustafa Ceric has served as the Grand Mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina since 1999. Ceric was educated at al-Azhar University in Cairo and received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He served as an imam in his native Bosnia, and later at the Islamic Cultural Center in Northbrook, Illinois. The Grand Mufti has received global acclaim for his work in strengthening democracy, promoting world peace, and pursuing interfaith dialogue. Ceric was considered a pivotal leader during the war with Serbia and remains a strong voice for the survival of Islam in Europe. He sits on the World Economic Forum’s Community of West-Islam Dialogue (C-100) and various other interfaith councils throughout Europe and the Middle East. Cerci was one of the 138 Muslim signatories in October 2007 of A Common Word Between Us and You, a letter addressed to Christian leaders in an appeal for peace and cooperation between the two religions. He is listed as 49th in “The Muslim 500 – The World’s Most Influential Muslims”. [details]
Synopsis – “Challenging Hate – Islam, Conflict and Peacebuilding”
All crime is wrong, but that which is motivated by hatred of a particular characteristic of the victim – whether it is their race, language, religion or gender is particularly destructive. Hate crime has devastating consequences for victims and their families, with far-reaching significances on communities both locally and globally.
The Bosnian war from 1992 to 1995 is a case in example that is still fresh in many people’s minds. In Bosnia, before the war, the Muslims, Serbs and Croats communities lived in relative peace and harmony. Up until the Bosnian crisis, when the Serbs expel the Croats, Muslims and smaller nationalities from their native areas in an effort to make the regions purely Serbian, in a state-sponsored policy of ‘ethnic cleansing’. Many of the Serbian war criminals are now behind bars or are currently awaiting trial.
The inherent power of hate crimes is frequently underestimated and poses a cardinal threat to the basic fabric and cohesion of a society. Former Mufti of Bosnia Herzegovina, Shaykh Prof Mustafa Ceric, who was in Bosnia in the thick of the Bosnian war and has been instrumental in the peacebuilding efforts in Bosnia, will share his experiences and wisdom in challenging hate and rebuilding the Bosnian society. He will also discuss how the religion of Islam is completely antithetical against the ideology of hatred, but instead Islam promotes the concept of peaceful coexistence, reconciliation and peacebuilding.