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Why Islam? Why Here?

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The Background

The decision to develop an Islamic reading room at Gladstone’s Library emerged from the convergence of two programmes representing the major strands of the library’s mission. The first was the ‘Challenges for the Future’ project, an interfaith project coordinated by the Church in Wales, the Muslim Council of Wales and (then) St Deiniol’s Library, seeking to find ways of translating interfaith dialogue into real engagement and community cohesion. The second was the 200 Campaign launched by the library in 2009 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Gladstone’s birth. The aim of the Campaign was to reinvigorate the legacy of Gladstonian liberalism by envisioning how its principles might have been applied in a 21st century context.

The proposal to build an Islamic Reading room was a creative response to both these calls. As one of the key issues facing modern multicultural society and the international political order, relationships between Muslims and non-Muslims would certainly have been amongst Gladstone’s central concerns; and, within the context of his pragmatic politics and humanitarian principles, it is likely that interfaith understanding and dialogue would have been at the core of his approach.

Page 2: ...Gladstone on Islam >

Page 3: ...Islamophobia, Here and Now >

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