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Passion Islam I August 2008 LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS I 9
Archbishop hosting Christian-Muslim
conference on ‘Common Word’
Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan awareness that peace throughout
Williams, announced last month that he is the world is deeply entwined with
inviting a group of Christian and Muslim the ability of all people of faith
leaders and scholars to a conference in everywhere to live together in
October that will mark the first anniversary peace, justice, mutual respect and
of the publication of A Common Word. love.”
The conference is being held in Understanding of love of God and
collaboration with Cambridge University love of neighbour provide the basis
and the archbishop said the scholarly on which Christians and Muslims
engagement will seek to consider a can take practical steps together
“program of practical steps to deepen for a “radical, transforming, non-
mutual understanding, action and violent engagement with the
friendships.” deepest needs of our world and our
human power is the ultimate authority
In a letter of response to the common word common humanity,” he said.
and arbiter in our world, he asserted that
initiative signed now by over 250 Muslim The archbishop called for a vision for
“we can together suggest a way in which
religious leaders and scholars, he said the Christian-Muslim encounter that “breaks
religious plurality can be seen as serving
Anglican Church was deeply appreciative the current cycles of violence, to show
the cause of social unity and acting as a
of the “significant development in relations the world that faith and faith alone can
force for the common good.”
between Christians and Muslims.” truly ground a commitment to peace
There have been over 50 positive
The Church of England spiritual leader which definitively abandons the tempting
responses from various Christian leaders
reflected on “the hospitable and friendly but lethal cycle of retaliation in which we
and scholars from around the world to
spirit” of the letter, acknowledging it as simply imitate each other’s violence.”
the Common Word, including from Pope
a timely initiative “given the growing By rejecting the notion that coercive
Benedict XVI.
Tough Visa criteria for
students announced
Foreign students hoping to come to the ensuring only those who benefit Britain their dependants with them will need to
UK to study will have to meet strict new can come. Before they can study here, show they have a further £535 per month
criteria, the Government announced last foreign students must be sponsored by for each person they bring.
month. a UKBA-licensed education institution, Each year, international students
The Home Office has published proposals prove that they have the means to contribute £2.5 billion to the UK economy in
for much tighter rules for foreign students support themselves and their families tuition fees alone and an overall estimated
- and the universities and colleges hosting while studying here; and supply their contribution of £8.5 billion. In recognition of
them - under the student tier of its new fingerprints. the many economic and cultural benefits
Points Based System. Stricter rules on work placements for that these students bring to the UK, earlier
All colleges and universities that want students will also ensure that the UK’s this year the Government announced a
to recruit foreign students will now need labour market is protected special visa category allowing successful
a licence to do so and will have to take Visas will only be granted to students who international students who have graduated
greater responsibility for their international show a proven track record in education from a British university to work in the UK
students, helping Government crack down and are applying for a course that meets a for up to two years.
on bogus colleges who abuse the system. minimum level of qualification. They must Universities and colleges face losing
For the first time education providers also be able to demonstrate they can their licence if they fail to keep copies of
face a ban on bringing over international financially support themselves and any of all their foreign students’ passports, keep
students if they fail to follow strict new their dependants. Students on courses for and update their students’ contact details,
rules - including alerting the UK Border longer than 12 months will have to show alert the UKBA to any students who fail to
Agency (UKBA) if students fail to enrol. they have sufficient funds to pay their first enrol on their course, report unauthorised
Students will also face stringent new year of fees, plus £9,600 to cover their first absences to the UKBA; and inform the
criteria if they want to study in the UK, year in the UK. Students wishing to bring UKBA if any student stops their studies.
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