Can Religious and Secular Values Complement each other in the Public Arena?

Bismillah. Received from the Christian-Muslim Forum.

*Can Religious and Secular Values Complement each other in the Public Arena?*

A Conversation between Julian Bond (Director, Christian Muslim Forum), Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra (MCB and President, Christian Muslim Forum), Peter Cave (Chair, Humanist Philosophers)

The evening began with a welcome from Marianne Zeck to the beautiful and atmospheric St Ethelburga’s Centre .

Each of the three panellists then set the scene, giving their own initial response to the question.

Julian Bond

As a Christian, Julian was optimistic that as both religious and secular communities have their share of visionary people and activists, they can work together to propose change. Concern for issues of justice and care for the marginalised is central to Jesus’ message, and his ‘manifesto’ issued at his sermon at Nazareth proclaiming the words of Isaiah ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has chosen me to bring good news to the poor, ..liberty to the captives….sight to the blind’ is one which suggests that social justice ought to be at the heart of Christian action.

Read more here.

Peter Cave

Peter was next to speak, and picking up on the question of values asked ‘does the meta-value which enhances the quality of our society come from the secular humanist or the religious side?’ For Peter this was a rhetorical question. He asserted that we should have some values imposed on us (if we are not be at the mercy of rape, pillage, murder etc), and was keen to disassociate Humanism from any charge of relativism, subjectivism or nihilism. Peter went on to explore ‘What are religious values? What are secular values?’

Read more here.

Ibrahim Mogra

Ibrahim’s response was a strong assertion that he feels that as a Muslim he has a slight advantage in following the common universal human values we all share, as he is encouraged to put these into practice and encouraged that his Creator commands him to do this. Ibrahim argued that the belief in reward for doing this, is the push and some people might need this when tempted to overlook the needs of their fellow human beings.

Read more here.

Barbara Usher

Some Reflections

I am grateful to Barbara Usher (one of the Forum’s volunteers) for producing the above account which captures much of what was said. I am all too conscious that the conversation was only beginning and that we are not quite on a level playing field together, in fact sometimes we are trying to argue the other team off the pitch!

Read more here.

Julian Bond


Christian Muslim Forum

2 Responses to “Can Religious and Secular Values Complement each other in the Public Arena?”

  1. Julian Bond Says:

    Hi Usama

    Thanks for posting, unfortunately the links have got lost, the whole piece can be accessed here

    Best wishes

  2. 'Uthmān Says:


    Do you still plan to write that detailed paper on how you believe Darwinism to be compatible with the Qur’an? I’m not convinced at this time that your views are valid and am, in fact, very wary about them in light of the statements made by scholars that such views constitute disbelief. However, if you do plan to write such a paper, I would be interested in reading it so that I can see how you arrived at the conclusion that you did i.e. that the Qur’an’s account of the creation of man can be reconciled with Darwinism. As it stands, I can’t see how they are compatible at all which is why I’d like to read your paper if you still plan to publish it.

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