A world where we live in harmony with each other
Trust is the foundation of a harmonious society. Through creating connections and breaking down boundaries, we build trust between people
Trust is central to creating an inclusive, connected and harmonious society. It forms the basis of healthy relationships. In its absence, mistrust, suspicion and doubt can emerge. Particularly over the last two decades, there has been a sustained media portrayal that shows Muslims in a less than favourable light. As a society, we have collectively failed to separate the peaceful religion of Islam from the negative misconceptions, meaning that both Muslims and non-Muslims are becoming apprehensive and even fearful of one another. This trust deficit has sadly left the Muslim community facing negative stereotyping, racial prejudice, discrimination and even hate crimes. Left unchecked, the growing mental illnesses, discrimination and social isolation faced are becoming increasingly evident.
The ‘Trust Building’ project was launched in the UK in 2016 and sought to address this trust deficit. The main activity was to train up trust-building ‘Ambassadors’ to deliver workshops at places of work and in other community settings. It was hoped this would facilitate open dialogue and break down barriers.
An early evaluation of the project found that workshops significantly improved people’s knowledge of Islam and that levels of trust had improved.
Research was also conducted to find out whether HumanKind works. Interviews with Ambassadors and participants were included in this research, which was published in the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. This has been able to unpack the process further.
It was found that most people who attended the workshops had an open mind and reported having an interest in learning more about different cultures, including Muslims and the religion of Islam. For ambassadors, the workshops offered a forum for open dialogue allowing controversial questions to be raised and negative media stereotypes of Muslims to be openly exposed and discussed. The study found that trust was built in three main ways:
- The workshop allowed an open and safe discussion forum, allowing controversial issues to be confronted and addressed.
- The sharing of the Ambassador’s personal stories humanised the wider Muslim community leading to deeper connections, interpersonal familiarity and understanding.
- The interactive workshop was able to demonstrate commonalities and promote understanding through shared values.
The bonds of humankind run infinitely deep. But somewhere along the way, we started putting up boundaries. Believing that our differences are too big and our similarities too small. It’s time to see a world built on our shared humanity, where we live in harmony with one another. Opening our hearts and minds to each other and creating lasting connections. After five years of building trust, we know that a brief exchange can be the start of something special. It’s not about making great leaps or letting go of what we believe. But having the empathy to see things from someone else’s perspective. So, let’s start a journey of discovery. Celebrate what brings us together. Respect our differences. Form relationships we didn’t think were possible. All it takes is a moment of courage to take the first step.
We believe in a United Kingdom where people are willing to get together and understand each other and help in securing their communities against divisive fear and uncertainty. In a multi-faith and multi-ethnic Britain, all religions and people of different ways of life live together as good neighbours. A City and Country where all care for each other.
To build trust through:
- Raising awareness and busting myths on Islam.
- Creating opportunities for interaction and dialogue.
- Train a network of ambassadors from various ethnic and religious backgrounds with the skills to promote mutual understanding and build relationships.
- Have ambassadors engage and visit various audiences to deliver presentations geared towards myth-busting.
Presenting a realistic and accurate message of peace and harmony to encourage each other to value commonalities rather than focus on differences.
Sharing the ordinary lives of British Muslims as an essential part of the fabric of British society: working as teachers, taxi drivers, doctors, soldiers, students, being good neighbours, and contributing to the economy of Britain.
Listening to the concerns of our audience and creating a safe forum for them to ask difficult questions.
HumanKind has successfully demonstrated that it can build trust and has the potential to create a more harmonious society. This can only be done through the help of our volunteers. If you would like to find out more or how you can become an Ambassador, please click HERE and drop us a message.
We connect British Muslims with their wider community through interactive workshops where people get to know one another.
Formerly known as the ‘Trust Building Forum’, ‘HumanKind’ is an innovative and pioneering programme that aims to build trust between the British Muslim community and the wider British public and vice-versa. This project is headed by Karimia Institute, a Muslim community organisation based in Nottingham.
Since 2016, the Trust Building forum has been successful in challenging stereotypes and misconceptions about Muslims. Through interactive and engaging workshops, the programme connects British Muslims and the general public through empathy, understanding, and quite simply, getting to know one another. These workshops help reframe how wider society perceives Muslims and directly challenge misconceptions, prejudice and stereotypes.
We have taken the opportunity to utilise what’s unique about the Trust Building Forum and have created a brand to take our initiative to the next level. It’s a powerful brand which ensures the programme is sustainable long-term, and most importantly, reaches and inspires new audiences.
We want to train people who play an active role in preventing tension, mistrust and fear of ‘the other’; these will be our ambassadors.
We want to educate others about the theology of diversity and pluralism, and how important it is to care for our neighbours and fellow citizens. We accept the fact that there are extremists in all communities. They require education. We shall highlight the concept of “the middle nation”, a Qur’anic term describing moderation, far away from extremism.
We want to build rapport between Muslims and the media and public sector. We aim to provide an atmosphere of peace and understanding for all people, regardless of race and cultural tradition. Provide an environment where people can meet and discuss their grievances and inequalities that drive conflict.
We want to encourage people of influence in the public sector and civic society to promote mutual understanding of each other. Be able to monitor and respond to unforeseen national or global crises in community relationships. We believe that we can bring about changes in the actions and attitudes of our communities, civil society activists, individuals and institutions that hold power by working in collaboration with them.
The bonds of humankind run infinitely deep. But somewhere along the way, we started putting up boundaries. Believing that our differences are too big and our similarities too small.
It’s time to see a world built on our shared humanity, where we live in harmony with one another. Opening our hearts and minds to each other and creating lasting connections.
After five years of building trust, we know that a brief exchange can be the start of something special. It’s not about making great leaps or letting go of what we believe.
But having the empathy to see things from someone else’s perspective. So, let’s start a journey of discovery. Celebrate what brings us together. Respect our differences. Form relationships we didn’t think were possible. All it takes is a moment of courage to take the first step.
If you want to find out more about this project or would like us to visit your workplace to offer our Diversity training, please get in touch by completing the contact form.