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Organization: Faith Matters
The following information may be cited or quoted as long as the source is accurately mentioned and the words are not taken out of context.
Posted: April 22 2010,04:33 If you wrote this report, you will find a button here that you may click
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Postal address of organization/institution

Hamilton House, Mabledon Place,
Fourth Floor, Bloomsbury,

E-mail address of organization/institution


Website address of organization/institution


Telephone of organization/institution

+44 207 554 8847

PRIORITIES: All of the organization's domains of culture of peace activity

TOP PRIORITY: The organization's most important culture of peace activity

PARTNERSHIPS AND NETWORKS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

Faith Matters has initiated different partnerships with organisations in different countries to develop understanding between cultures and celebrate cultural and religious diversity.
For example, we are part of the Youth For Europe Network that aims to develop cultural exchanges between young people from European countries.
At the national level, Faith Matters partners with various organisations working on interfaith dialogue and community emporwerment.

ACTIONS: What activities have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the ten years of the Decade? If you already made a report in 2005, your information from 2005 will be included in the 2010 report.

The organisation has a number of work strands and objectives that are listed below. Since 2006, Faith Matters therefore works to provide:
• Social programmes based on the themes of interfaith, conflict resolution, community cohesion and preventing violent extremism. Within these themes, we will work with any faith community. We also work within areas of geopolitical significance like the Middle East.
• Platforms where historical similarities are used as the glue to try to get faith communities to try to understand each others perspectives.

The list of actions that Faith Matters has undertaken to promote a culture of peace is listed below:

The Forums Project:
The Bridging Beliefs Forums were a unique series of workshops across England with Holocaust survivors and survivors of genocide of Bosnian Muslims.
Sharing personal experiences in an effort to educate people on the holocaust and Muslim genocide in Bosnia, purpose was to create a sense of shared historical, religious and cultural experiences for Muslim and Jewish communities.

Our Faiths and Our Shared Futures:
The Our Faiths and Our Shared Futures programme celebrates the fact that faith is a positive social force and one that should be a cohesive factor. The aim of this programme is to build resilience against extremist rhetoric and messages and other groups promoting extremist narratives. The focus of this project are the London Boroughs of Haringey, Enfield and Barnet and the local authority of Derby within the West Midlands.
The project brings together local faith leaders from the three Abrahamic faiths (Islam, Judaism and Christianity) to develop a booklet of faith narratives that promotes better understanding of religious texts. These faith narratives will therefore be based on statements from the Quran, Torah and Bible and which talk about acceptance, tolerance and understanding. This booklet will be then promoted and disseminated through local faith and communities organisations, schools, further and higher educational institutions etc

Living Islam Out Loud:
Faith Matters hosted a visit of four prominent American Muslim authors of a book entitled ‘Living Islam Out Loud’ which explored their experiences of living, working and growing up in the United States as female Muslims.
Their message was to empower British Muslim women and to create a positive role model for dynamic and pro-active Muslim women. The women shared their experiences and focussed on the shifting social environment and role of Muslim women in the US and Europe.

Cohesive Communities: Bridging Divides Between Muslim and Sikh communities:
Faith Matters explored local areas of tensions among young Male Sikh and Muslim men which threatened to create local and national hotspots of tension.
The project culminated in the Cohesive Community report to be used by communities as a resource to develop cohesion and to look at divergent dialogues.

Resisting Through Resilience:
Providing young people with the opportunity to discuss matters around identity, faith and local issues that may be impacting on them.
The London Borough of Enfield asked Faith Matters to explore with its young Muslims what it means to be British and a Muslim. The workshops looked at the history of Islam in Europe which helped groups to develop their identity as young British Muslims.

One Town, One Community Cohesion Day: Rotherham
Faith Matters co-ordinated the launch of Rotherham Council’s ‘One Town, One Community’ event with the aim of developing good interfaith relationships and preventing the spread of violent and extremist messages.
Survivors of Rwanda, Bosnia and the Holocaust hosted workshops about how communities can prevent the spread of violent and extremist messages.

Challenging Conversations:
This interfaith project brings together 6 Imams and 6 Rabbis to talk about areas of mutual importance.
The aim of this project is to produce a charter of statements and thoughts that can help to improve relations between Muslims and Jews in the UK.

PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the second half of the Decade?

During the second half of the Decade, Faith Matters have seen improvements in the level of engagement of faith leaders in interfaith work at the local level. As an example, Faith Matters has managed to bring together Imams, Rabbis and Priests for the first time in the city of Derby to look at faith narratives that can counter act hatred and extremist messages that were sadly displayed in the local area. Also, Faith Matters has contibuted in organising the first major Interfaith event in the city of Roterham. This was co-ordinated to make all residents feel pride in St George's Day and to reclaim the day from the Far Right and to give people a sense of community; a sense of shared values.
We acknowledge that this has sometimes required a lot of hard work but we have noticed that at the local level that faith communities have the willingness to dialogue if a project adapted to their local needs is developed.

OBSTACLES: Has your organization faced any obstacles to implementing the culture of peace and nonviolence? If so, what were they?

1. Rise of islamophobia and far right activism
2. Rise of local interreligious tensions due to international conflicts
3. Poor attention from the media on positive action undertaken by faith communities as they consistently reduce religious issues to terrorism and extremism. Needs an international media centre for culture of peace that will release and disseminate positive information.

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization in the short, medium and long term to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence?

Faith Matters plans to develop international partnerships to build a worlwide network and implement interfaith and intercultural dialogue between different countries. More specifically, Faith Matters is currently developing intercultural programmes for young people and women in :

GLOBAL MOVEMENT: How do you think the culture of peace and nonviolence could be strengthened and supported at the world level??

-Need for an international media centre for the promotion of the culture of peace and non violence that will release and disseminate positive action and information.

-Creation of an International Fund for the Promotion of the Culture of Peace that allocate funding to community grass roots organisations.

-Creation of a network of good practices
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Organization: Faith Matters

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