Moving beyond “Us” and “Them”

Moving BeyondPapers are invited (from practitioners as well as academics) for a conference hosted by Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park on Moving Beyond ‘Us’ and ‘Them’: Challenging Discourses of Religious Otherness and Building a More Inclusive Society.

The conference will take place on Monday 1 June.

“This one-day event will take an interdisciplinary approach, bringing together academics and students from the social sciences and humanities, as well as practitioners whose work deals with issues of social cohesion.

We welcome individual and group academic papers and non-academic presentations and papers that address topical issues regarding the process of religious othering experienced by religious minority groups, the role of religious ‘others’, their relations with other social actors and their representation in the political, educational and employment domains.

We are particularly interested in contributions that focus on defining current problems and on providing potential ways to resolve challenges associated with the following debates:

Education: How can education act as a vehicle for bridging the ‘us’ and ‘them’ divide?

Employment: How does religion affect (un)employment experiences and/or workplace interactions ?

Citizenship: How does religion and interfaith relations impact on political participation?

The team of organisers includes Rosalind Parker (PhD student at King’s College London), who has been involved with ENORB UK from its inception and who presented a paper at LBFN’s seminar on multifaith spaces at St Ethelburga’s in 2013.

The extended deadline for submitting ideas and abstracts is 31 March.  Download more information here and contact the organisers here.

City Circle: gender equality in the 21st century Circle is hosting a panel discussion on  Friday 20th March 6.45pm – 8.30pm at Abrar House, 45 Crawford Place, W1H 4LP on women in positions of leadership within Christianity and Islam.

“The role of women is one of the most challenging issues facing Christianity and Islam today. But why is the idea of women in positions of religious leadership so controversial?

Why aren’t more women breaking through the glass ceiling into positions of leadership?

Join us for a panel discussion as we explore questions of women’s representation, participation and leadership from the perspective of Islam and Christianity.”

Speakers include Revd Lucy Winkett, Khola Hasan and Shahin Ashraf MBE.

More information on City Circle’s website, Facebook page or by emailing

Sadaqa Day 22 March

sadaqadaySadaqa Day (a new national day of multifaith social action) was launched this evening and will take place this year on Sunday 22 March.

Groups of Muslims across the country will lead Sadaqa Day projects to benefit their local communities. Projects such as improving community space, planting flowers or trees, or arranging to visit people who are elderly, will be taking place.

“Sadaqa Day is a day of social action. A date in the calendar when individuals, mosques and other places of worship, schools, women’s and community groups, scouts and guides groups – everyone – can get involved.

The word Sadaqa is often spoken about as the charitable giving of money, but Sadaqa is so much more. It is every deed, every act of giving, it is each movement in our service to others. This is what the Prophet Muhammad؃ meant when he taught, “Even a smile is charity”.

Across many faiths, in every school, and in all good homes, we are taught about doing our bit, making our own contribution, playing our part in giving to others and in making the world a slightly better place. Acting in genuine service for others. And that is what Sadaqa Day is all about.”

In Camden, volunteers from Hampstead Synagogue, Regent’s Park Mosque and the Royal Free Hospital are collecting food together from two local supermarkets to donate to the local foodbank.  Find more examples on Sadaqa Day’s Facebook page.

If you’d like to take part in Sadaqa Day or help organise a project in your borough, find further information here or contact founder Julie Siddiqi, who was with us at our last LBFN meeting.

London RE Hub Conference 2015

RE hubConference for RE teachers across London on Saturday 28th March 9.30am – 4pm at the Ismaili Centre, 1-7 Cromwell Gardens, SW7 2SL. 

Topics include Buddhism, Christianity (Anglican), Christianity (RC), Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Non-Religious World Views, Religious Literacy, Sikhism, Special RE & Short Films in RE.  Find the full programme here and registration (£32.45) here.

European links

EuropeTwo upcoming meetings in Brussels, Belgium, organised by our European friends at Religions for Peace and European Network on Religion & Belief.

RfP logoThursday 19 March at the European Parliament.  Welcoming each other in Europe: a call for non-discrimination, with Religions For Peace Europe & the Global Network of Religions for Children.  This meeting falls within a larger RfP gathering this week, with over 60 participants from 14 European countries.  Download the programme here, which includes booking details.

The President of Religions for Peace Europe is Yolande Iliano, whom some of us will remember as one of our guest speakers at ENORB UK.  The Secretary General of the European Council of Religious Leaders, Jehangir Sarosh, spoke at our London Peace Conference last September.

enorb logoilgaThursday 26 March  Equality for all!  EU equality legislation against hate speech & discrimination on grounds of religion, belief, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

This is a joint event by ILGA-Europe and ENORB in Brussels looking at existing and proposed equality legislation in Europe and exploring areas of potential tension in a spirit of dialogue and mutual understanding.

Download the invitation and full programme here.  Book by emailing Anusha Dakan.  LBFN was one of the networks which brought the European Network on Religion & Belief together a few years ago and convenes ENORB UK.  Alan Murray, President of ENORB, said a few words about this event at our last meeting at Church House, Westminster.

Sheffield gathering for local practitioners

IFN headerNot in London, but a chance to get together with local practitioners from across the country: a day conference on Thursday 26 March at St Mary’s Conference Centre, Bramall Lane, Sheffield S2 4QZ, organised by the Inter Faith Network for the UK.

Bessie White (Hounslow Friends of Faith), a long standing member of LBFN and our peace-building social lab, is one of the speakers.  Download the full programme here.  There are three workshops:

  • getting the message across (communications)
  • funding and resourcing local work
  • developing and maintaining programmes that work well for your area

The event is free and is open to all local inter faith groups.  Book a place by emailing IFN’s Hannah Cassidy with a booking form.  Download the booking form here.

Peace Cafe 17 March 6pm

Aff_CafesDepending on the origin of our food, clothes, cosmetics or household goods, our seemingly innocent actions can contribute to human and environmental disasters somewhere on the globe.  The Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh highlighted the direct links between our consumer choices here in the UK and lives overseas.

Ethical choices and consumerism is the topic of our next Peace Café, on Tuesday 17 March at 6pm at LBFN’s home at Collaboration House, 77 Charlotte Street, W1T 4PW (Goodge Street tube).

Our special guest is Shehroze Khan from MADE in Europe, a grassroots faith-based charity raising awareness about environmental protection, justice and poverty, and our conversation will include diverse views and a wide range of experiences.

Let LBFN know if you plan to join us.  Bring a little food to share.  Everyone can brew the change.  We look forward to seeing you there!