Imam Muhammad Ashafa
and Pastor James Wuye Win Chirac Fondation Award for Conflict Prevention
Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye have won the Fondation
Chirac Prize for
Conflict Prevention. They have accepted
the Prize, which goes to support their work, and will attend to the
ceremony on 6 November in Paris, at la Sorbonne. Former President of
France Jacques Chirac, Kofi Annan and members of the jury of the Prize
will attend. The award winning documentary film The Imam
and the Pastor captures the story
of Imam Ashafa and Pastor James. The producers of the film, who
work with Initiatives of Change's FLTfilms in the UK, have
also been invited to attend.
of Imam Ashafa and Pastor James will be placed on placards on the
avenue des Champs Elysée, in Paris.
prevention work is more essential than ever. The number of wars, civil
conflicts and violent inter-community conflicts is on the rise. Many of
the peace processes in place are incomplete or fragile. When these
conflicts start there is a grave danger that they will endure and cause
human relations to spiral downwards and fester, while the means to
impose peace are limited.
Fondation Chirac Prize for Conflict Prevention aims to improve
awareness of these risks and to help and support those who invest so
much, in time and resources, to prevent conflicts from the outset. Its
purpose is, by necessity, to improve international recognition of their
efforts, to encourage people to take up the conflict prevention mantle
and to encourage financial support.
the 1990s, Pastor James Wuye and Imam Muhammad Ashafa led opposing,
armed militias, dedicated to defending their respective communities as
violence broke out in Kaduna, northern Nigeria. In pitched battles,
Pastor James lost his hand and Imam Ashafa’s spiritual mentor and two
close relatives were killed.
the two men are co-directors of the Muslim-Christian Interfaith
Mediation Centre in their city, leading task-forces to resolve
conflicts across Nigeria.
Imam and the Pastor tells how they made this remarkable transition. It
is both a moving story of forgiveness and a case-study of a successful
grass-roots initiative to rebuild communities torn apart by conflict.
with the vibrant colours and music of West Africa, the film offers a
message of hope for the world from an unexpected quarter.