Exciting 11-day double programme on a Swiss mountainside
Please note: Due to the world health crisis, we are currently working on offering an online version of the Caux Forum 2020. Please stay tuned for more information here.
If you are aged 18-30 and passionate about global change and Muslims’ contribution to it, then the Learning to be a Peacemaker programme is for you!
The 11-day programme takes place at the amazing Caux Conference and Seminar Centre in Switzerland and combines two unique elements:
- Learning to be a Peacemaker training course on Islamic approaches to peacemaking followed by the Caux Forum’s
- Tools for Changemakers: Part conference, part training, this annual event offers courses on trust-building developed in different parts of Europe.
Young European Muslims were either born or brought up here. Their parents straddle ethnic and European cultures and often have an expectation that their children will be culturally more ethnic. However, many young Muslims are more familiar and at home with European culture, and Europe is ‘home’.
This programme defuses that tension and helps make young Muslims’ European and Islamic identities symbiotic. In the current environment of increasing hostility towards Islam, Muslims are often viewed with suspicion. It is imperative to help young Muslims form a confident European Muslim identity. Islam requires Muslims to be at peace with themselves and others.
We are currently witnessing the proliferation of terrorism, extremism, death and destruction all over the world. Many cities across Europe have suffered terrible attacks and many lives have been lost. Most of these recent attacks have been attributed to terrorism inspired by Islam. However, terrorism has no religion, race or colour. It is simply evil. The most serious consequence has been the fissure that has developed between communities.
This course will help young Muslims to understand that they can play an important role in bringing communities together. It will help them engage in honest conversation which brings root causes of conflict to light, builds trust and heals. In the same way, those who are not Muslims will gain a better understanding of their friends and neighbours who are Muslim, build better relationships and friendships, and consequently create a more cohesive society.
Learning to be a Peacemaker (LPM) is a training course designed by Imam and broadcaster, Ajmal Masroor.
- Knowledge – providing factual information about the peacemaking culture in Islam and the wider context
- Connection – offering relationship-building opportunities between young European Muslims and their counterparts in wider society
- Dialogue – empowering young European Muslims and their peers of other beliefs to hold honest conversations
- Networking – connecting young people across Europe who may find shared inspiration to take initiatives for peacemaking and building trust across divides
Peace and justice are the two most sacred principles which underpin every aspect of a Muslim’s life. Therefore becoming a peacemaker is the most important role a Muslim can play. Learning about peace and justice is the first step towards this goal.
This programme believes that learning to be a peacemaker is key to developing a confident European Muslim identity and contributing towards global change.
- An introduction to issues of war and peace in today’s world: the origins and dynamics of conflicts, and processes of containment and reconciliation
- The Jurisprudence (fiqh) of Peacemaking: the Islamic principles of peacemaking, examination of Islamic texts and their application in context
- War and Peace: examining Quranic texts and prophetic traditions in relation to averting war and building peace
- Prophets and Peacemaking: an inclusive study of other prophets’ and traditions’ peacemaking initiatives
- Violence and Extremism: dismantling the dominant narrative which associates violence and extremism with Muslims as people and with Islam as their religion
- Loyalty and Citizenship: learning to think globally but act locally; examining responsibility and belonging in the light of changing realities
- Inner Dimensions of Peace: a spiritual realignment of Muslims’ beliefs and practices, developing social and political conscience, and sharing inner contentment
- The Characteristics of Peacemakers: qualities and attributes needed to become peacemakers and effect global change
There will be opportunities for interfaith dialogue and meetings with people with experience of peacemaking. The training style is interactive, with introductions to the subject matter by Muslim and other authorities, whole-group and small-group discussions, and presentations. At the end of the course, participants will plan a practical project to undertake at home to demonstrate learning and commitment to peacemaking.
… of LPM:
- The course handbook gave insights into the Islamic texts (Quran, Hadith) that refreshed my own foundation of Islamic knowledge.
- The Islamic teachings of peace illustrated the extent to which peace is represented and practised in our religion.
- I like the approach towards clarifying the misconceptions [about Islam]
- The talks were not so long that one would lose interest, but just long enough to discuss matters in sufficient depth
- What I valued most was the [trainer’s] ability to give us examples and ways of putting into practice the knowledge he shared.
- The knowledge we received helped us to feel confident in being able to explain our beliefs to other people - something I had not been able do before.
- This course helped me to realise that you should never feel afraid to have conviction in what you believe in.
- The course emphasised the importance of being an active citizen. Instead of allowing any feeling of isolation or not fitting in to lead to sadness or violence, we were taught instead to channel these emotions into something far more constructive: working for the societies that we live in to become more inclusive and understanding and understanding.
- I really enjoyed it and left with a sincere hope that such programs should be organized again and again giving the youth a chance to explore themselves and display their talents.
- This course has helped me to become more at peace with myself and more excited to contribute to the society that we live in.
- The program promotes intelligent debate and understanding of Islam and the role of Muslims in the contemporary world, but most importantly it teaches peaceful co-existence.
… of Caux and Tools for Changemakers
- One of the few opportunities for young people from all backgrounds to meet and discuss peacemaking culture and the ways of accepting their identity and relations.
- I was provided with amazing tools and food for thought concerning my own growth and interaction with people. Thank you for that!
- I learned how to begin change and how changing the world should start within you - which requires a great effort.
- I chose the training track ‘Sustaining your Spark’, which involved facing emotions which I did not even know I possessed.
- One learning outcome for me was to listen to the opinions of the other person and respect their ideas.
- Both experiences have given me tools to become the person I wish to be and taught me how to create positive change in others and the world.
- Very well-organised and highly welcoming environment.
- A really great programme!
Looking out over Lake Geneva from an altitude of 1050 meters above sea level, the Caux Conference and Seminar Centre can accommodate up to 450 people. In 1946, the former Caux-Palace Hotel became an international meeting place, thanks to the generous contributions in time, talent and money of countless volunteers and supporters.
‘[Borders] are actually quite fragile – they are only built on the idea that we cannot connect to ourselves and to others’
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