Thursday, 13 November 2014

By Laila Ali - 
The charity Interfaith Initiative Trust has announced it will stage a workshop entitled ‘Promises: Women of Faith in Action’ at the Paul Robenson theatre to promote social cohesion and interfaith dialogue. The workshop, which will start this October and run until spring 2010, is specifically aimed at women and it will discuss their own spiritual journey, whilst also letting the participants clear up any misconceptions about ones own religion. Whilst most other inter-faith dialogues are usually aimed at helping bridge communications between people of the Abrahamic faiths (Christians, Jews and Muslims), the inter-faith initiative trust asserts that women of all faith are welcome to participate, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu or Buddhist.
The workshop provides an opportunity for women to debate and discuss their views about their own faiths and others, an opportunity that would be perhaps difficult in a place of worship. Traditional views about women when it comes to religion; that they should respect the views and (sometimes sexist) opinions of worship-leaders (Priests, Imams ect), that they should remain seen and not heard, and stand submissive should be blown apart by this workshop. Here, they can question the nature of their faiths, whether religion still stands as a force for collective good and still is relevant in uniting an increasingly diversifying and multicultural Britain. Speaking on the subject, this workshop interestingly comes after last’s month September 11th riots in the Middlesex borough of Harrow. This is a secular country that prides itself on its tolerance and respect for other faiths. However, how could we turn a blind eye to the rising tensions between particular communities in London? This workshop could help ease the tension between communities, and try to dissolve feelings of animosity between people pf faiths. Personally as a British Muslim, people are to afraid to ask questions, the presence of the elephant in the room is always felt, perhaps I would benefit from attending some of these workshops. The workshop can be a platform for passionate debate about the lack of social cohesion, the mistrustfulness between neighbours and members of communities of different faiths. It can also make one feel less alien to the increasingly faithless society that we have become, an assurance that you are not alone in a city where religious values and morals have less and less importance on daily life.


  1. Sounds liek a good workshop, hope it was a success!

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