International Conference on Islam and Conflict Transformation
On 24 January 2013 Islamic Relief Worldwide held a one-day landmark Conference on Islam and Conflict Transformation in collaboration with the University of Manchester Humanitarian and Conflict Response Unit (HCRI).
Islam and Islamic organisations, both historically and in contemporary conflicts, have played a central role not only in providing relief and rehabilitation but also acting as agents of peace building and conflict transformation. The conference brought together academics and practitioners from across the globe to present and discuss academic and robust policy oriented research in the field of conflict resolution and peace-building in the Muslim world.
The conference was framed by plenary presentations from Prof. Mohammed Abu-Nimer and Dr. S. Ayse Kadayifci-Orellana from the Salam Institute for Peace, while Justice. Professor Abu-Nimer opened the conference with a presentation offering a practitioner’s view of the specific needs and requirements when working on peacebuilding within the Muslim world. Through his presentation, the Professor emphasised that the factors instigating and maintaining conflict are not simply ‘Muslim’ issues but in fact ‘human’ issues – we share across the globe.
Dr Kadayifci in turn opened the afternoon sessions with her plenary presentation on ‘Women within Peacebuilding in the Islamic World’. The positive message of her presentation emphasised that there are a plethora of women engaged with peacebuilding activities, but that as practitioners our understanding of what a peacebuilder looks like can make those contributions invisible to us. To engage women as peacebuilders, there is a need to widen our definition of where peace is built and by whom; widening it from the high-level officials that are usually the focus of attention.
Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute at the University of Manchester & Islamic Relief Worldwide (2013). Islam and Conflict Transformation: Conference Report: Birmingham, UK.