Lambeth Palace and the LYF approach to Islam and Ethical Trading

The LYF was pleased to see that 2 years after we held the first Fair Trade Eid Party (attended by over 200 members of the local Muslim community in Lockwood, Huddersfield) in partnership with our friends at the Pakistani Youth Forum,  the Fairtrade Foundation has initiated its first ‘Fair Trade and Islam Ramadan’ campaign. In addition to this, our community based NJU work, which focuses on bringing young people who are both Muslim, Christian and of no religion together in the name of ethical
trading has also been brought to the attention of the Christian Muslim Forum established by Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

In June 2011, the LYF was asked to attend a special workshops held by the Christian Muslim Youth Forum, which focussed on trade justice.  The LYF has been a supporter of the work of Dr Rowan Williams’ Christian Muslim Forum (CMF) for some time.  The CMF
attended the launch of the LYF’s refugee driven initiative, the Oromo Coffee Company at Westminster in 2009.  In addition to this, LYF’s Ian Agnew, recently became an Ariane de Rothschild Fellow though his work via the LYF to utilise ethical trading as a method of bridging the differences between Muslim and Jewish communities.

The CMF organised event was sponsored by MADE in Europe and took place at Lambeth Palace in June. Participants issued a joint statement, which called upon the UK government to take the lead in ending the EU’s distorting cotton subsidies (which prevent
over 10 million African farmers from trading fairly, thereby forcing them into poverty).

Christina Longden of the LYF commented ‘It was really refreshing to meet such a well-informed and driven group of young people. There were lots of participants – whether they were Muslims or Christians – who recognised that in the UK we have much to be
proud of in terms of expanding the ethical trading sector, but who now feel that they want to do something more than just purchasing a certified product and who are excited by our approach to empowering communities both here and in developing countries to truly understand the world of ethical trading and the many opportunities available to them in terms of enterprise and grassroots
initiatives’.

To see the CMF’s statement on trade justice – go to http://bit.ly/jnUFgl

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