Skip to content

The Sir David Amess Peace Initiative

As Seen In...

aa

The Sir David Amess Peace Initiative is an interfaith campaign to recognize the achievements of murdered UK politician Sir David Amess, and is the world’s first interfaith sainthood nomination. The initiative seeks to be a powerful gesture of religious, political and racial unity, promoting tolerance and combatting extremist ideologies and violence. It was founded in 2022 by a Muslim immigrant to the US, UK and Canada and has high level Jewish support

Sir David, a devout Catholic, was fatally stabbed 21 times by a Muslim terrorist on October 15, 2021 inside a Methodist church during walk-in meetings with the public. Sir David rose from poverty to a distinguished career of public service, beginning as a school teacher for disabled children, followed by 38 years as a Member of the UK Parliament representing Southend before being killed on the job. 

Sir David was widely considered to be the finest constituency MP in the UK, and was the embodiment of peace, courage and sacrifice. Even those who disagreed with some of his views respected his passionate and sincere work on behalf of people and animals. Sir David’s extraordinary life, exemplary character, and martyrdom while heroically serving others, merit public support and recognition.

The initiative has religious and secular components allowing everyone to participate. You can help crowdfund £1 Million to fund Sir David’s consideration for Catholic honors, his multiple charities and a Southend fund for the vulnerable, or support the petition to award Sir David with an American Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously, or both. In solidarity with this initiative is a United Arab Emirates government issued peaceful fatwa approved by 6 Muftis.

 Response

Highlights of Sir David’s Legacy

bc
ab

Sir David & Islam

Positive Interfaith Relations

Sir David’s murder is especially tragic because he was supportive of the Muslim community, who appreciated him greatly in return. He put people before immigration politics when coming to the aid of 100 Afghani refugees housed in Southend, for example. Similar interfaith and other work were done quietly, and if Sir David had received more publicity and deserved credit, he might still be alive today.

A Muslim Nominator

Page 1
Page 2

I’m an Algerian Muslim immigrant to the US, England and Canada and I’m proud to lead this initiative in honor of Sir David, my former MP. In addition to the secular goals of this campaign, I have also nominated Sir David for Catholic honors, a multi-step process that may culminate with sainthood recognition. While this interfaith nomination is unprecedented, I believe we must all endeavor to think of, and support, new ways to foster greater tolerance and unity. This nomination was made with a lot of thought. I concluded that Sir David deserves the highest recognition in his faith and wishing him the best in that regard is not contradictory to my Muslim values. 

I first got to know Sir David by correspondence in 2017, shortly after I moved to Southend. A friend told me that Sir David was renowned for his responsiveness and advised me to contact him with my ideas to improve the community. True to his reputation, Sir David responded meaningfully to all my letters, addressing a variety of topics such as improving public transport, creating safer roads and cleaner parks, and my social enterprise startup. Sir David also personally campaigned door to door despite being the overwhelmingly favored candidate; he visited my house on at least one occasion that I know of, but I was sadly absent at the time. I intended to visit Sir David to thank him for his support, but that was also not meant to be. When paying my respects at his office and watching the news, I would learn that he supported and touched countless others in similar or greater fashion.

It’s noteworthy to share that I’ve travelled to numerous Muslim countries such as, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Turkey, Tanzania and the United Arab Emirates, visited hundreds of mosques, been on the Haj pilgrimage, and been in the company of millions of Muslims, yet not once have I come across anyone who expressed, let alone tried to recruit me into extremism. It’s also true that I’ve disproportionately experienced terrorism committed by statistical outliers in the Muslim population that has had a traumatic impact on my life, some of which I’ve highlighted in the timeline below. That trauma is another driving force in this initiative which I hope will curb all extremist violence, especially that which uses Islam as a justification.

1990s Algeria’s Black Decade

bb_0005_Layer 0

Following cancelled parliamentary elections that the islamic party were poised to win, terrorist rebel groups emerged with an agenda to overthrow the government. A general lawlessness enveloped many regions, muddying the waters. Over the decade, between 150,000 and 200,000 civilians were killed, many barbarically. As a child, I visited Algeria for five consecutive summers during the conflict, and I had family amongst the victims. I still experience nightmares from these visits, where every strange sound at night brought fear that we were about to be beheaded, an all too common practice at the time. 

2001 NYC World Trade Center

bb_0002_Smoke-flames-twin-towers-attacks-World-Trade-September-11-2001

My favorite NYC landmark whose observation deck I visited, and whose concourse I regularly commuted through the summer before, was twice attacked by Muslim terrorists. My brother and I were NYU undergraduate students during the second attack on 9/11. I was studying abroad at NYU in Paris when I overheard people on the street saying that NYC and the Pentagon had been attacked, leading to my dreadful belief that World War Three was underway. I walked to a nearby electronics store and saw the flaming towers being broadcast on every TV screen in the window display.

2012 NYC Cousin Convicted

bb_0003_FERHANI-superJumbo-1024x683

My cousin, Ahmed Ferhani, pled guilty and was convicted of plotting domestic terrorism in a controversial case that was the first tried under NYC’s post-9/11 anti-terrorism laws. While we hadn’t seen each other for years, I met him outside his home the week of his arrest, but he gave me no indication of any fundamentalism or terrorist plans, instead sharing that he intended to peruse a career in entertainment. He had been heading down the wrong path for a while, exacerbated by a long history of mental health problems and failing out of school. 

2017 Westminster Bridge

bb_0004_Screenshot 2022-06-22 at 12.15.54

Down the road from my office near Victoria Station in London, and in the middle of the work week, a Muslim extremist mowed down pedestrians with a rental vehicle on Westminster Bridge and stabbed an unarmed police officer. The victim toll was five people killed and 50 wounded. My co-workers and I regularly went for afternoon runs in the area, and the bridge was one of our routes. On another day, we may have been amongst the victims. 

The following Algerian historical figures who break negative religious and racial stereotypes were also an inspiration.

ba44fb1763dae1aa5fbab7da510b0fdd

Saint Augustine

Saint Augustine, an Algerian Berber born near my paternal hometown of Azzaba, served as the Bishop of Annaba for 34 years and is a Father and Doctor of the Catholic Church. Saint Augustine is considered to be one of the greatest Western philosophers and writers, and has an influence on Christianity that is arguably second only to Saint Paul. Saint Augustine was a strong advocate of critical thinking and establishing the truth through reasoning. He was also an early civil rights champion, leading many under his authority to free their slaves as an act of piety as well as advocating the Emperor to enact laws against the slave trade.

9b69f22293914efcdb3b0479df0bce16

The Emir Abdelkader

The Emir Abdelkader was an Algerian scholar and military leader who fought back against colonial France. Despite being invaded, he treated his prisoners with an unparalleled level of dignity, such as releasing those he could not  properly feed, flogging abusive guards and entrusting female prisoners to his mother. The Emir’s codification of human rights, the earliest in recorded history, was a forerunner to the Geneva Convention. Even after being exiled in Syria, the Emir risked his life to save more than 10,000 Christians, including the entire European diplomatic corps, from massacre, earning him praise from the Vatican, Queen Victoria and Abraham Lincoln. The Emir also holds the distinction as the only Arab with an American city named after him.

A Peaceful Fatwa

The United Arab Emirates official fatwa center has issued a fatwa (a formal religious opinion by qualified scholars) through their 6 Mufti review process in support of the interfaith recognition.

Awqaf_UAE_logo

Support 

1) Donate with Mightycause

All donations will go towards the costs of Sir David’s Catholic Church recognitions, his charities and the Essex Community Foundation Southend fund. 

Total Raised

602196c242adc50004f0aa7a (1)

2) Shop with Easyfundraising  

More than 2 million UK shoppers have raised over £40 million in money back donations for good causes. Join this cause. 

Total Raised

easyfundraising-logo.e8b445bd
Home

3)  US Presidential Medal of Freedom Petition on Activate

Like and Share the below petition for President Joe Biden to award Sir David with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest American civilian award for contributions to humanity, and is open to non-Americans. Help harness the power of social media to create unity and peace and not hate and division.

© The Sir David Amess Peace Initiative 2024  | Contact: sirdavidamesspeace (at) gmail (dot) com