LEICESTER - Reaping the fruits of community cohesion over the past years, a new group has been launched to unite Leicester faith communities and copy the successful experience of a nationwide Muslim Christian women forum.
"The aim is to show people what Christian and Muslim women are doing in Leicester and how they have been coming together for a long time, Julian Bond, director of the Christian Muslim Forum (CMF), told BBC on Tuesday, June 25.
"These quiet movements and groups can have a great impact.
The new Leicestershire based group, Muslim Christian Women's Network, has been launched at the Women in Faith conference in Leicester.
It consists of members of the Muslim and Christian communities including Sunni, Shiite, Anglican and Catholic.
Members of the forum were recently hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The network is part of the Christian Muslim Forum (CMF) which was founded in 2006 following calls for the religions to work together more closely.
Another directory to bring together various women's groups and organizations in Leicester was also launched at the conference to encourage these groups to work on women's issues.
Britain is home to a sizable Muslim minority, estimated at nearly 2.7 million.
In 2011, think tank Demo found that Muslims in the United Kingdom are more patriotic than the rest of population.
Responding to the statement I am proud to be a British citizen, 83% of Muslims said they are proud of being British.
Reaping the fruits of community cohesion, a Muslim woman, Anjum Anwar, was appointed as the only Muslim to work in a Church of England cathedral.
A lot of good work has been done by mosques since 11 September and 7 July (attacks), Anwar said
We want to continue this good work - to create conversation between communities and demystify facts from myths," she added.
Anwar hopes to replicate the way the church works in Blackburn where she is based.
As for Bond, the director of the CMF, the Muslim-Christian cooperation gave hope to the society to overcome racial attacks.
"This is happening against the backdrop of difficulties of the murder, mosque-building and mosque-burning in recent weeks," Bond said.
British Muslims have been in the eye of storm since the machete killing of an army soldier by two converts of immigrant origin in Woolwich, near London, last month.
According to Tell Mama project, which monitors anti-Muslim attacks in Britain, 212 anti-Muslim incidents have been reported after the Woolwich attack.
The figure included 11 attacks on mosques, in a series manifestation of anti-Muslim sentiments.
In recent weeks, several mosques in Britain have opened their doors to welcome neighbors or even angry, anti-Muslim protesters.
Two weeks ago, Bradford mosque has organized an event, themed United We Stand, to condemn violence in the name of Islam and bring together nearly 400 people of different religions and races.
In London, members of the North London Central Mosque have invited members of the EDL to a friendly discussion about their concerns, reiterating Islam's opposition to violence.The invitation was similar to another one extended last week by members of York mosque who invited angry EDL members for refreshments, tea and biscuits inside the mosque.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net