UMCOR-Muslim Aid Partnership Launch

A partnership between the United Methodist
Committee on Relief and Muslim Aid was launched today in the House of Commons,
London.

Signing Ceremony
Mr. Saif Ahmad, CEO, Muslim Aid, Mr. Farooq Murad, Pres. Muslim Aid, Hon. Stephen Timms, MP, Gen. Sec. Randy Day, UMCOR, Bishop Edward Paup, Pres. UMCOR

A landmark partnership between the United Methodist Committee on Relief and Muslim Aid was signed today at the House of Commons in London. The agreement formalizes cooperation already reflected in their operations delivering emergency assistance to victims of civil conflict in Sri Lanka.

In concrete terms, it could result in approximately $15 million additional for humanitarian assistance in Sri Lanka and Indonesia, but the history-making agreement opens the door for interfaith cooperation as part of strategic planning, not as an after-thought, according to Farooq Murad, chairman of Muslim Aid.

Chief Secretary of the Treasury, Stephen Timms, MP convened the signing ceremony in a meeting room in the Parliament building. Timms said this partnership demonstrates a better way to solve conflict than bullets and guns. He said the interfaith partnership will serve as a model for others.

After the signing ceremony MP Shahid Mahlik chaired a panel that included two dozen non-governmental organizations. Shahid said, “We’ve become experts at inclusiveness and that’s wonderful, but it’s not enough. We in this room know we must go further. We know that inclusion is wonderful but we come together because we have much in common. This (partnership) brings us closer together and holds promise for the world to see that we as a global community have more in common than we recognize.”

Shahid represents a district that included one of the young men who bombed the London underground and a transport bus several months ago. Referring to this event he said, “When people do evil things we must call it evil.”

He said evil challenges religious people is to uphold human dignity and assure that everyone has a voice in order to build a more tolerant community. Acts of violence betray the faith traditions partnering in this agreement, he said.

The Rev. Randy Day, General Secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries, the parent body of UMCOR, invited other religious organizations to join in similar partnerships. Rev. Day said, “I hope we will met around a similar table in the future and welcome many more partners as we work to eliminate suffering from poverty and toward a partnership for global peace.”

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