European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion (EMISCO)

Symposium on the Radicalization of Youth within the context of social exclusion and Islamophobia at the House of Lords-Thursday, 05 February 2015 hosted by Lord Nazir Ahmed.

The Muslim Teachers’ Association (MTA) was represented at this Symposium attended by 100 people from Europe and the United Kingdom. Mrs Rukhsana Yaqoob, the President of the MTA spoke about Islamaphobia in a UK educational context and issues facing pupils and teachers.

European EMISCO colleagues visited Norlington School in East London and were impressed to see the positive interactions of teachers and students, the total attention shown by the pupils in all lessons observed.

‘I was touched by the head teachers’ vision and the positive desire for learning that the students displayed’ Bashy Quraishy Secretary General – EMISCO -European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion – Strasbourg Member – Advisory Board – Migration Research Centre and Chair-Advisory Council-ENAR – Brussels

EMISCO colleagues then visited colleagues at Waltham Forest Town Hall and met the Mayor of Waltham Forest, The Leader of the Council and council colleagues working on the PREVENT strategy in Waltham Forest in general as well as the proactive Educational work being carried out in colleges and schools.

In the afternoon, colleagues visited St Ethelburga’s in Liverpool Street- this exists to transform conflict and division into new relationships and peaceful communities in three ways:

The church of St Ethelburga’s was built in the 15th century.  Having survived the Great Fire of London and the Blitz, it was almost completely destroyed by an IRA bomb in 1993.  It was rebuilt and opened as a centre for reconciliation and peace in 2002. They do this by creating a unique space for dialogue and encounter, training in group facilitation, conflict resilience, community reconciliation and by offering direct support to communities experiencing conflict.

MTA and EMISCO colleagues were shown the tent for reflection and meditation.