Why minority rights are the key to pluralism and peace in the Middle East

Lecture by Masri Feki followed by forum

What we commonly think of as the 'Arab and Muslim world' is in fact a rich and varied mosaic of peoples. Over the last 50 years, many Middle Eastern minorities have been oppressed or have struggled to survive - be they national groups ( Berbers, Kurds, Turkomans, etc), religious communities (Christians, Zoroastrians, Baha'is, etc) or both (Armenians, Jews, etc). Sects, such as Shi’ites in the Gulf states and Sunnis in Iran, have not been successfully integrated within Islam itself.

Masri Feki sees minority rights as central to his vision of secular democracy. Now, more than ever, thriving minorities are the cornerstone of a healthy civil society and the key to pluralism and peace in this troubled region.

Following Masri Feki's lecture, representatives of Middle Eastern minorities are invited to take part in a debate on how best to build a new and better Middle East.

Born in Cairo, Masri M Feki is a political scientist and author of several works on the Middle East. He writes for the Turkish and Arabic press. He is the founder of a pressure group based in Paris, The Middle East Pact (MEP), which works to bring Middle Eastern communities together around a regional political pact.

Thursday 18 September 2008
Khalili Lecture Theatre, School of Oriental and African Studies
University of London, Thornhaugh St, Russell Square, WC1
Refreshments from 6.15pm. Lecture 7pm
Entrance free

London Middle East Institute/ Harif