News Room /
Islamic Relief on Spiritual Capital in development
17 May 2012
Image courtesy of International HIV Fund
"Islamic Relief’s priority is to increase partnership with
religious institutions and to reintegrate them into the development
movement and harness the spiritual and material capital of these
Islamic Relief recently took part in an interfaith seminar convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. The event took place at Lambeth Palace on Tuesday 8 May 2012 and explored the faith traditions’ approach to tackling global poverty. The talk was attended by Islamic Relief, CAFOD and the Amida Trust who gave their perspectives on how development issues can be solved through a spiritual approach.
Islamic Relief’s Policy and Advocacy Manager, Atallah Fitzgibbon gave a poignant and compelling talk about the power of spiritual capital in galvanizing people to make a change, and he affirmed Islamic Relief’s commitment to work with faith communities.
Atallah highlighted that Spiritual Capital is a ‘bulwark’ against poverty and helps contribute to the tradition of public ethics. On the other hand, the essentially secular model of administration has delegitimized and alienated faith as a development factor. A new secular development language has developed which has lost much connection to its equivalent religious discourse.
He highlighted that Islamic Relief, while not directly promoting the Islamic faith, is still very much engaged with faith institutions. Islamic Relief is harnessing faith teachings through the lens of people’s own faith and leadership, tapping into their greatest priority – their faith and the meaning it gives to them.
He affirmed Islamic Relief’s priority is to increase partnership with religious institutions and to reintegrate them into the development movement and harness the spiritual and material capital of these communities and reduce the divide the imposed secularism has created in their perceived role.
Atallah highlighted that building spiritual capital can and should be a specific development aim. He pointed that that there was strong evidence emerging that religion and spiritual capital must not be alienated intellectually or operationally from attempts to raise living standards.