“We established the forum because faith matters to the well-being of everyone in Tower Hamlets. Harmonising the collective power of our numerous faiths is the first step towards fulfilling their potential as a force for positive change and community cohesion”
Reverend Alan Green, Chair, Inter-Faith Forum.
The Inter Faith Forum made this website because faith is so important to us all in Tower Hamlets. The website is to help us all understand more about each other’s faith.
Develop your training & facilitation skills to tackle discrimination and hate crime.
Visit Festivals and Celebrations to download the popular 2012 Inter Faith calendar.
The next Forum meeting will be 6pm on Tuesday 12 March 2013 at Account 3, Birkbeck Street, E2 6JY.
For further information about meetings and venues please go here.
THE “MUSLIM PATROL” – February 11 Update
At the beginning of January 2013 two videos were posted on YouTube of a small group of men on Fieldgate Street and Commercial Street telling people that this was a Muslim area and they were not allowed to drink alcohol on the streets, that women were behaving like animals because of their dress and that a gay man was dirty and should not be allowed in this place.
The police have now made six arrests. Those original vids have been removed after police action, but the flavour of them is found in this CNN report: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcsG-u2GtZE
There is quite a lot of chatter about the vids around the Web, some of it with malicious intent, suggesting that the six are more representative of the Muslim population than they are – actually, some of them are already known to local mosques as trouble makers within the Muslim community.
There have been a number of measured responses from Muslims – here is a very good address given at Ebrahim College, a school and educational foundation in Whitechapel:
His main point is that those who preach Sharia must try to live by it – these young men are breaking Islamic principles by trying to force their rules on non-Muslims and giving such a bad impression of their religion.
The arrests have been part of very good partnership working between Police, Council and community groups – including the East London Mosque, the Council of Mosques and Rainbow Hamlets (the local LGBT organisation). This, of course, is under reported – as is the fact that all six that have been arrested do not live in our Borough.
This is a key point: whose community is this, whose streets are the streets they tried to ‘patrol’? In the end it does not matter whether they are demanding Sharia or England for the English – they are outsiders actively attempting to undermine our community because we offend them by living well together. Once again we need to show that we are proud of our diversity and committed to working to maintain it. This does not mean papering over the cracks – such diversity naturally brings strains and difficulties which we have to acknowledge and seek to resolve – but it does mean actively preventing those who want to magnify those cracks into great gulfs of separation, whether by shouting on the streets or blinkered writing in the papers.