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“… the global socio-economic conditions have forced us to become more resourceful, more resilient, more determined; whilst remaining hopeful, we must work together to challenge and strive for something better – to this end women are crucial for change…” Wahida Shaffi, Women’s Programme Lead
‘Faith, Fear, Friendship: Contextualising Islam and Christianity in the UK’ will be an interactive and thought-provoking extravaganza involving leading Christian and Muslim women in the UK. It takes place in London on 5 February 2013 during Global Interfaith Harmony Week. The event is the next phase of the Christian Muslim Forum’s Women’s Programme (commenced 2011) titled “Come to the Edge” taken from this poem by Christopher Logue:
Come to the Edge
We Might fall.
Come to the edge
It’s too high!
COME TO THE EDGE!
And they came,
And we pushed,
And they flew.
A Rose for Friendship Exhibition will be launched on the day.
The Christian Muslim Forum will be giving awards to 12 women across England, recognising their outstanding contribution made in the field of inter faith.
Come and enjoy an interactive theatrical performance, feature in a short film and meet inspirational women!
Location: St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace
78 Bishopsgate, London
For further info, please email
This is a Near Neighbours event
The Edge Report brings together the key issues identified by the women’s listening exercises in Burnley, Bradford, Leicester, Birmingham and London in 2011. The report was written both in preparation for the first national Christian Muslim Women’s Residential (March 2012 in Northampton) and to inform the future work of the Forum. The Report was launched in dynamic fashion in the 5 cities aforementioned during National Inter Faith Week in November 2012. Our February 2013 event will enable the valuable work being undertaken in the UK to achieve a global platform where ideas and good practice can be shared.
The 2012 census findings indicate that Muslims now make up over 4% of the UK population whilst those identifying themselves as “Christian” have decreased since 2001. The issues raised in The Edge report have serious policy implications and challenge us to redefine our understanding of what it means to be “Christian” or “Muslim” in a society that is seen to espouse predominantly secular values. The British Social attitudes Survey (2010), on which the Forum held a seminar, coupled with our report’s findings, suggest that “Fear” is a commonly talked about emotion and one that increases uncertainty and insecurity especially against a rising tide of far right extremism, transnational politics, civil and human rights issues and public sector cuts. In turn, it raises the important question of how we can deepen our understanding of “the other” and forge long lasting relationships of trust – where we can feel safe to question, raise issues and truly work together.
The key themes and questions that emerge from the focus groups around the country give a rich insight into the shared concerns of women in both faith communities, while helping us to understand our differences and our challenges. It enables us to see beyond a homogeneous idea of ‘the other’. It reminds us that differences occur within as well as between our religious communities, and it shows how regional demographic variations and cultural differences can have a profound impact on community relationships. The re¬port makes clear that participants also identified a need for greater public representation and political empowerment for Women of Faith.
Women of Faith in modern society have much in common, even when we belong to different religions and cultures. Our faith traditions offer sustaining wisdom and guidance as we face the complex demands of modern life. For many of us, belonging to a religious community is a vital part of our identity and sense of self-worth. Whilst the findings recognise the complexity of the issues raised, they also reveal a general feeling of hopefulness and resilience. Women speak passionately about concepts of equality; peace and justice, education, patriarchy, citizenship, marriage, governance, exploitation and motherhood and recognise the crucial role women must play within their own homes and communities as well pioneering in the creation of new initiatives. We hope that our event in 2013 will serve as a stepping stone to the creation of the first national platform for Christian and Muslim women in the UK.
10.30: Arrival and Teas and Coffees
10.45: Welcome and Introduction
Launch of Rose for Friendship Exhibition
10.55: Christian and Islamic prayers
11.00: Catriona Laing, Contextualising Christianity in the UK
11.20: Film Challenge
12.30: Lunch / Prayers/ Filming Continues
Reflect on questions raised by speakers in information packs
13.15: Theatrical performance "Women are on to Something"
13.30: Rabiha Hannan, Contextualising Islam in the UK
13.50: In pairs discussion based on 2 Questions determined by the speakers / general reflections on speaker inputs
14.15: Panel Discussion, speakers
14.45: Break / Prayer
15.00: Introduction and Award Ceremony
16.00: Launch of the Film
16.30: Continued interaction