Britain is a multi-faith and multi-belief society. It is important that everyone in Britain engages positively with those of different faiths and beliefs, with the understanding that each person is created by God, and it is part of the Divine plan that people of different beliefs co-exist in the world.
Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) is keen to promote and develop good relations between Muslim communities and other religious and ethnic communities. Interfaith dialogue, indeed any dialogue with the intention of moving forward together in greater understanding, is achieved through listening to different points of view, and, at times, even being challenged by others.
Interfaith dialogue is not about joint worship, comparative religion or passing judgements about others’ religions, rather it is about working together for the sake of peace and common good. Dialogue between faiths is essential to survival of religions generally and necessary for the sake of peace and harmony in the world.
There is lack of religious literacy, prejudice, stereotyping and misinformation around/about religions, including Islam; as a result divisions and prejudice grow in a society. Interfaith interactions help remove some of the prejudice and stereotyping , and helps with community cohesion.
Inter-faith activities are not restricted to conversations or visiting each other’s places of worship, rather they are underpinned by positive social action. MINAB urges mosques and Imams to enhance interfaith dialogue in their neighbourhoods and actively take part in social action projects to bring communities together. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says: “The best of people are those that bring most benefit to the rest of mankind.”[Daraqutni] It is part of Islam faith to be in service of others.
Interfaith conversations and relationships offer rich experiences to those involved. They help people to learn more about the core values of our faiths and celebrate the positive contribution that many of the inter-faith initiatives are making in our neighbourhoods.
Some ideas of Interfaith Dialogue and Activities
- Opening Mosque Doors
- Interfaith Walks from one place to worship to another
- Climate Change related activities, eg planting tree together
- Foodbanks, Soup kitchens, feeding homeless
- Cleaning Streets together
- Supporting vulnerable – collecting recycled clothes and toys
- Scriptural Reasoning
- School Assemblies
- Working on Issues of Common Concern