This House believes that the war on terror has become a war on Islam

Thursday April 28 2005
MOTION REJECTED by 50% to 50%


Anas Altikriti

Speaking for the motion
Anas Altikriti

Anas Altikriti is a founder and former president of the Muslim Association of Britain, an organization dedicated to promoting positive Muslim interaction in society in order to improve opinions of Islam in the United Kingdom.

As president of the Muslim Association of Britain, he was credited with mobilizing Muslim opposition to the war in Iraq. He chaired many anti-war demonstrations in the UK, most notably leading the mass march against the war in Iraq on February 15, 2003 in London.

Altikriti left his post at the Muslim Association to go into politics. In June 2004, he stood for the European Parliamentary elections in his local Yorkshire and Humberside region and is currently playing an active role in mobilizing the Muslim vote in the upcoming British General Election.

He writes for the British and Arabic press and regularly comments on a wide range of British, Middle Eastern and Islamic issues for the international media.

Growing up as a devout Muslim in Britain offered him a unique insight into the problems and intricacies of Muslim existence and interaction within the British context on the social, economic, demographic as well as political levels. He became a founder of the Muslim Association of Britain in 1997.

Altikriti was educated in the UK and the United Arab Emirates. He studied translation and interpreting studies and received his master's degree from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh in 1993.

Born in Baghdad in 1968, Altikriti moved to the UK in 1970 following an extended period of oppression and persecution practiced by the Ba'athist regime against his family.


Feisal Abdul Rauf

Speaking against the motion
Feisal Abdul Rauf

Feisal Abdul Rauf is the Imam of Masjid al-Farah in New York City. He is also founder and CEO of the American Sufi Muslim Association, a non-profit, non-political organization established in 1997 to build bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims through programs in interfaith, culture, arts, academia and current affairs.

Abdul Rauf is a member of the World Economic Forum's Council of 100 Leaders and the Board of Trustees of the Islamic Center of New York. He is also an advisor to the Interfaith Center of New York and a member of the National Inter-religious Initiative For Peace in Washington DC where he advocates the need for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Abdul Rauf founded the Cordoba Initiative, an inter-religious program designed to improve relations between the United States and the Muslim world and pursue peace in the Middle East.

He is a regular speaker at major international conferences such as the Fortune/Aspen Institute Annual Conference in Colorado and the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In addition, he is a teacher of Islam and Sufism at many respected institutions, including the Chautauqua Institution New York Center for Religious Inquiry at St. Bartholomew's Church and the New York Seminary, and has appeared on numerous major television programs.

His latest book is called 'What's Right With Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West'. He is also the author of 'Islam: A Search for Meaning; Islam: A Sacred Law' and 'What Every Muslim Should Know About the Shari'ah'.

Abdul Rauf was born in Kuwait and educated in England, Egypt and Malaysia. He has a bachelor's degree in physics from Columbia University in New York and a master's degree in plasma physics from Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey.


Mustafa Ceric

Speaking for the motion
Mustafa Ceric

Mustafa Ceric is the President of the Council of Ulema and Grand Mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina. He is the leading Islamic legal authority for an estimated two million Muslims in the Balkans.

Ceric came to international prominence during the 1992-1995 conflict in the Balkans, speaking out against the use of faith as a justification for violence.

He has called for European governments to fund Islamic schools and mosques, in order to institutionalize Islam in Europe and enfranchise European Muslims. Failure to engage Muslim populations and to permit them a role in society, he has argued, opens the door to extremists and militants.

Ceric was educated in the Medressa in Sarajevo. He received a scholarship to Al-Azhar University in Cairo and completed his studies there before returning to his homeland to become an imam.

Ceric moved to the United States in 1981, where he served as imam in the US Islamic Cultural Center. In 1986 he earned his PhD in Islamic Theology at the University of Chicago. He returned to Bosnia the following year.

Ceric is the author of a number of books in Bosnian, including 'Roots of Synthetic Theology in Islam'.


Ramzi E. Khoury

Speaking against the motion
Ramzi E. Khoury

Ramzi E. Khoury is a strategic communications consultant, journalist and columnist. He is the CEO of Strategy Falcons LLC, an Arab strategic communications company based in Dubai, with offices throughout the region.

Strategy Falcons carries out polling, research and studies on public perception of politics, religion and society, as well as planning and implementation of operations and crisis management.

Khoury is an adviser to several Arab publications and satellite channels. He was elected in 2002 as secretary general of the Arab Media Organization, the union of private sector satellite stations.

He also managed the campaign of Toujan Feisal, the first woman to be elected to Jordan's lower house of parliament.

Khoury has held the positions of editor-in-chief of the Jordan-based English newspaper, The Arab Daily and Prior to that, he launched Abed Rabbo, the first political satire newspaper in Jordan, which was shut down for its harsh criticism of the government. He then took on the task of liberalizing the country's English-language daily, Jordan Times.

Khoury started his career at Grenada Television after earning a degree in political science from Richmond College in the United Kingdom.

He was born in Jordan.


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