Note: some of these words have been taken from Wikipedia.
The Global Peace and Unity event/festival (often abbreviated as GPU) is a recurring two-day conference held at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre in Royal Victoria Dock, London, England and organized by the Islam Channel. It is the largest Muslim, interfaith and multicultural event of its kind in Europe, having attracted over 55,000 visitors from five continents during the 2006 event.
The chairman of the event/festival is Mohamed Ali Harrath, a Tunisian activist and businessman and the founder and CEO of the Islam Channel.
Some of the speakers in this year’s recent event were:
1) Lauren Booth (UK) – an activist who currently works for Iran’s state-owned 24-hour English language news channel, Press TV.
2) Said Rageah (Canada) – More info about this individual can be found here: Saed Rageah: The Rafidah Shi’ah of Iran and the Islamic Shariah.
3) Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri (Pakistan) – A leading Barelwi who allows his devotees to prostrate before him, see here: Barelwi Dance Rituals, Prostrations (Sujud) to Tahir Al-Qadri and the View of the Hanafi Jurists on Prostration to Other Than Allaah
4) Muhammad Al-Ya’qoubi (Syria) – A promoter of Sufism who follows the Shadhili Tariqa.
5) Muhammad Al Shareef (Canada) – President of Al-Maghrib Institute which provides edutainment and a social buzz in the form of seminars for those who are willing to pay for such experiences.
6) Yasir Qadhi (USA) – A theologian who doesn’t find the pure, unadulterated authentic Islam (Salafiyyah) “intellectually stimulating” enough for him. See here: http://www.salafis.com/tags/yasir-qadhi.cfm
There was also a Rabbi and a Reverand who gave speeches at the event. In addition, catwalks and concerts (Nasheed and Naats) took place. Entertainment was provided by the following:
- Hamadi, Illusionist – UK
- Noor, Nasheed Group – USA
- Mohammed Amer, Comedian – USA
- Baba Ali, Comedian – USA
- Junaid Jamshed, Nasheed Artist – Pakistan
- Native Deen, Hip-Hop Group – USA
- Zain Bikha, Singer – USA
Concerning comedy, clowning around and jokes as a means of Da’wah, the respected Shaikh Sālih Al-Fawzān has warned against such behaviour. Watch this video here: The Ruling on Comedy & Plays (Acting) for Da’wah – Shaykh Sālih Al-Fawzān
The tagline for the event is the rather dubious and ambiguous “Freedom For All”. What exactly does this mean? Freedom to commit Shirk, Bid’ah, Kufr, Major Sins, etc? Freedom to spread and defend such things and those who promote them? And does this mean, freedom to choose a methodology of rectification other than the divine methodology of the Prophets (calling to Tawhid first and warning against Shirk) and instead choose man-made ideologies?
Rather we submit to the will of Allaah and we are restricted by the Qur’an and Sunnah upon the understanding of the Salafus-Saalih. We should not be deceived by democracy, pluralism, liberalism and the likes, as well as the callers to them, see here: The Realities of Democracy and here: The Source of All Liberalist Ideologies.
Any upright Muslim who fears Allaah and fears taking his Deen as play and amusement would stay away from such gatherings.
Tied into this is the important aspect of Al-Walaa’ wal-Baraa and companionship. We should not forget the narrations of the Salaf regarding companionship:
1) Muhammad bin Ubaid al-Ghulaabee said, “The Ahl ul-Ahwaa (People of Desires) hide everything except their intimate friendship and companionship.” [Al-Ibaanah (2/482)]
2) Abdullaah bin Mas’ood –radiallaahu anhu – said, “Make consideration of the (regions of the) Earth by the names given to them and make consideration of a person by his companion.” [Al-Ibaanah (2/479)]
3) Imaam Al-Awzaa’ee said, “Whoever hides his innovation from us will not be able to hide his companionship from us.” [Al-Ibaanah (2/476)]
4) Yahyaa bin Katheer said, “Sulaimaan bin Daawood –alaihis salaam –said: Do no pass a judgement over anyone with anything until you see whom he befriends.” [Al-Ibaanah (2/464)]
We ask Allaah to protect us from all forms of misguidance, doubts and desires, and to guide us to the Straight Path upon the way and understanding of the Salafus-Saalih.