Global Peace and Unity

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Global Peace and Unity
Status Active
Genre Conference
Dates Third week of an Autumn month
Begins Saturday
Ends Sunday
Venue ExCeL Exhibition Centre
Location(s) Royal Victoria Dock, London, England
Country United Kingdom
Years active 2005–present
Inaugurated 2005
Most recent 2013
Attendance Over 50,000
Organised by Islam Channel

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.[1] There have been six conferences since its inception in the inaugural event held on 4 December 2005, with others in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2013. The conference includes an Islamic exhibition, an evening nasheed concert, as well as a series of talks, workshops, seminars and lectures from international speakers spanning the two days.[1][2]


According to the official website, the Global Peace and Unity event is designed to promote "global cohesion across all communities," as well as "break barriers and build bridges between the variety of cultures and groups that follow the Islamic faith."[2] As well as giving Muslims the opportunity to enjoy themselves and provide a platform for them to learn more about their religion.[3] The event aspires to spread peace and foster unity between like-minded representatives of communities in the UK and worldwide. It aims to bring together people from all spheres of the British society in order to inform and educate them about Islam and Muslims, and through this help to bridge the gaps between Muslims and non-Muslims and improve community relations.[1][4]

According to Khurram Mujtaba, director of operations of Islam Channel, "the event is a means through which to promote dialogue."[1] According to Mohamed Ali Harrath, chairman of the event and Islam Channel’s CEO, "the event offers a crucial platform for demanding change through peaceful interfaith dialogue, and positive exchange of ideas and interaction towards fostering mutual understanding between people from every culture, faith and background in a bid for greater community cohesion in a multicultural society."[5][6]


The event consists of three main parts. One is an exhibition which houses numerous stalls, selling Islamic gifts and serving cuisines emanating from a variety of cultures. Other stalls promote Islamic business, while yet others are reserved for the collection of charity donations for organizations like Muslim Aid and Islamic Relief. The other two parts of the event are composed of an evening concert on the first day and series of talks and lectures by international speakers on the second. Throughout both days artists provide entertainment on-stage in the form of nasheed pieces or comedy sketches.[1][6][7]

Speakers, artists and performers[edit]

Numerous individuals have spoken at the Global Peace and Unity event, including political figures and community leaders such as former (and then serving) London mayor Ken Livingstone, Respect MP George Galloway; former MCB Secretary-Generals Iqbal Sacranie and Muhammad Abdul Bari; journalists Yvonne Ridley and Sarah Joseph; politicians such as Lord Nazir Ahmed, Lord Charles Falconer, Salma Yaqoob, Simon Hughes MP, Sadiq Khan MP, Stephen Timms MP and Shahid Malik MP; political activist John Rees, entrepreneur James Caan; ex-sportsmen Saeed Anwar and Imran Khan.[8][9][10][11][12]

Islamic scholars and preachers who have spoken at the Global Peace and Unity event have included Zakir Naik, Yasir Qadhi, Yusuf Estes, Jamal Badawi, Timothy Winter, Joel Hayward, Abdul Wahid Pedersen, Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, Muhammad al-Yaqoubi and Tariq Ramadan. Representatives from other faiths including Yisroel Dovid Weiss and Riah Abu El-Assal.[1][5][10][11][12]

Muslim pop singers who have performed at the Global Peace and Unity event include Jermaine Jackson and Yusuf Islam. Nasheed artists to have performed include Zain Bhikha, Ahmed Bukhatir, Junaid Jamshed, Najam Sheraz, Dawud Wharnsby Ali, Idris Phillips, Native Deen and Outlandish. Other performers have included poet Brother Dash; comedians Preacher Moss, Azhar Usman and Baba Ali.[9][10][11]


In 2010, David Cameron banned Baroness Sayeeda Warsi from attending the conference over alleged extremist speakers.[13][14][15] Speakers have included: Former Pakistani government minister, Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq, who said suicide attacks were a justified response to Salman Rushdie's 2007 knighthood. Shady al-Suleiman, who invited Anwar al-Awlaki to speak at a mosque in Australia and supports stoning adulterers. Abdur Rashid Turabi, head of Pakistan's Jamaat-e-Islami party. Sheikh Yasir Qadhi, who said that homosexuality is an "aberration against God".[13] Hussein Ye, who blamed Jews for the September 11 attacks.[16] [17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Safdar, Anealla (4 December 2006). "The untold good news story about Muslims". Dispatches. The Guardian. Retrieved 28 October 2007. 
  2. ^ a b "Global Peace & Unity Event 2007 - 24th & 25th November 2007". Retrieved 27 October 2007. 
  3. ^ Islam Channel, The Global Peace & Unity Event 2005 Special Collector's Edition DVD
  4. ^ "Global Peace & Unity Event - Origin and Values". Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Ethnic Now - The Global Peace and Unity Event 2006". Retrieved 22 November 2006. 
  6. ^ a b Ali, Mohamed (22 October 2010). "Message From Global Peace and Unity Event Chairman Ali". Islam Channel. Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  7. ^ Mayet, Fahad (21 December 2006). "Global Peace and Unity Event, London". IslamOnline. Archived from the original on 16 March 2007. Retrieved 27 October 2007. 
  8. ^ Bale, Joanna (5 December 2005). "Muslim peace rally attracts thousands". London: The Times. Retrieved 27 October 2007. 
  9. ^ a b "Global Peace & Unity Event 2005 - 4th December 2005". Archived from the original on 30 October 2007. Retrieved 27 October 2007. 
  10. ^ a b c "Global Peace & Unity Event - 25th & 26th November 2006". Archived from the original on 10 November 2007. Retrieved 27 October 2007. 
  11. ^ a b c "Global Peace & Unity Event 2008 - 25th & 26th October 2008". Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Global Peace & Unity Event 2010 - 23rd & 24th October 2010". Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Townsend, Mark (24 October 2010). "Baroness Warsi told by David Cameron not to appear at Islamic conference". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  14. ^ Collins, Nick (25 October 2010). "Baroness Warsi pulls out of Muslim conference amid claims of Tory concerns". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "U.K. PM bans Baroness Warsi from attending Islamic conference". India: Hindustan Times. 24 October 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  16. ^ Gillgan, Andrew (25 July 2010). "Hizb ut Tahrir is not a gateway to terrorism, claims Whitehall report". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  17. ^ Gillgan, Andrew (25 January 2010). "The rising tide of anti-Semitism". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 

External links[edit]