Shaykh Arif speaks at the ‘Islamic Values, Human Rights’ Symposium held at the University of Birmingham organised by the University’s Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion.
The Symposium comprised of a number of various speakers from different fields and was chaired by Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP. The Symposium focused on (1) the overlap between Islamic religious perspectives and European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) values; and (2) core religious and theological values which a number of religions share, which can be used as a basis for building relationships between diverse faith communities and secular states, and which have symmetry and resonance with ECHR thinking.
Shaykh Arif talked about the Prophetic mannerisms and how he lay out the foundations of a code for respecting Human Values, as echoed by the Qur’an and the Sunna. Presenting examples from the Madinan Charter and the instructions given by the Prophet, Shaykh Arif showed how moral and just the Prophetic example was. However what has been misunderstood in modern times according to Shaykh Arif is that the essence of Islam is not looked at, whilst the time-bound form is emphasised. He concluded by saying that any solution to counter extremism must involve a theological discussion by scholars addressing any contentious topics openly and freely so that a greater understanding can be arrived, one that echoes the real Islamic and Prophetic sentiment.
The talk was followed by a Q&A with a panel of experts in Theology and Human rights.