ONLINE EVENT
  • 24.04.2021 | 5:30 PM GMT | TICKETS £10
What is it about? ...

The story:

The story of the companions of the cave tells us the tale of young men persecuted by an emperor because of their faith in Allah. Resisting oppression and refusing to give up their belief, they found refuge in the darkness of a cave where Allah made them sleep for over 300 years, saving them from the tyrant. While their awakening and return to society was certainly unsettling for them, the story of the people of the cave shows us how Allah protects the righteous believers, no matter how difficult their situation is.

The story of the innocent Muslim men tortured and taken in chains to Guantanamo bares many similarities to the companions of the cave. Immersed in the darkness of imprisonment, Allah protected them until they overcame. Not only did they survive and found freedom again, they emerged as role models and leaders, advocating for justice


Meet our heroes:

Join former Guantanamo prisoners Moazzam Begg, Mohamedou Ould Slahi, Mansour Adayfi and Shaykh Fayez Al Kandari, who collectively have spent nearly 50 years detained without charge.

Since their release, they have been involved in some of the most impressive work to close Guantanamo, became voices for justice, and exemplified the values of truth, dignity and mercy.


Reflect with Dr Omar Suleiman:

The parable of the companions of the cave is full of gems, and offers wisdom and guidance to its reader. Dr Omar Suleiman will seek to unpack some of its lessons in a thought-provoking session inshaAllah.

Join us in listening to these reflections, so that we may have a glimpse of the profound meanings of this Quranic tale.

Speakers

Moazzam Begg

A British-born Muslim, Moazzam Begg is a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner and outreach director for CAGE.

After his release, he became one of the most prominent public-speakers and Muslim advocates for justice and dialogue. 

He is the author of the best-seller Enemy Combatant in which he recounts his experience as an innocent man detained and torture at Guantanamo, Bagram and Kandahar.

The Muslim 500 listed him as one of the 500 “most influential Muslims” in the world.
The New Statesman listed him in the top 50 “Heroes of our time”.

His life story has been chronicled by the BBC Storyville documentary, The Confession. 

Shaykh Fayez Al Kandari

Shaykh Fayez is a religious scholar, author and international aid worker. As a teenager, aged 15, he lived through the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein, which taught him about the importance of generosity in offering relief. He began delivering food alongside other teenagers in his neighborhood to his fellow citizens who were afraid to leave their homes during the occupation. In his early 20’s, he witnessed on TV the horrific aftermath of the war in Bosnia. Once again, he felt compelled to travel there and continue his charitable work. 

In 2001, he traveled to Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries in the world, and met local officials to assist villagers in the building of wells and repairing their mosque. After the invasion, he was captured, sold to US forces for a bounty and sent to Guantanamo where he remained for 14 years. 

Since his release, Fayez has become a well respected figure in Kuwait due to his knowledge and wisdom, He produced an inspirational youtube series “552” about his time in Guantanamo and is also the author of the widely praised “Extreme calamity and rebirth” which retells his personal life journey. His life is also documented in the popular arabic show “sunduq al aswad”

Mansoor Adayfi

Mansoor grew up in a simple rural village in Yemen. At only 18, Mansoor travelled for a cultural mission to Afghanistan. He was kidnapped and sold to US forces for a bounty in a case of mistaken identity, then taken to Guantanamo. He remained imprisoned there for 15 years. In 2016, Mansoor was released, but his plight did not end. He was transferred to Serbia, a country he had no connection with.

Despite his daily struggles in Belgrade, Mansoor writes, creates artwork, and advocates for prisoners rights.

His work has been featured by the New York Times, BBC radio, CBC radio, WNYC, and the John Jay College of Justice. His memoir “Don’t forget us here” (Hachette) is available for pre-order now.

Mohamedou Ould Slahi

Mohamedou Ould Slahi was born in Mauritania. He earned a scholarship to study engineering in Germany when he was 18.

In 2001, he was taken from his home in Mauritania and eventually held at Guantánamo Bay for 14 years without charge. He was routinely brutally tortured while in American custody. 

During his imprisonment, he authored a 466-page memoir published under the title “Guantanamo Diary”, which became an international bestseller. He was finally released to his native Mauritania in October 2016.

His experience was captured in ‘My Brother’s Keeper’, a BAFTA longlisted Guardian Documentary and in the gripping Golden Globe nominated feature film, The Mauritanian. 

Mohamedou has become one of the foremost advocates for the closure of Guantanamo.

Dr Omar Suleiman

Dr Omar Suleiman is an American Muslim scholar, civil rights advocate, writer, and public speaker. After several years in pursuit of traditional Islamic knowledge, he completed his PhD from the International Islamic University of Malaysia in Islamic Thought and Civilization.

He has been listed by CNN as one of 25 Muslim American change-makers, and was also included in The Muslim 500 - an annual ranking of the world's most influential Muslims.

Beside being the founder of several non-profit and community organisations, he is an Adjunct Professor of Islamic Studies.

He has been actively campaigning for justice, focusing on police brutality, racism and separation of families at borders.
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