Faith Matters

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Faith Matters (formally: FAITH MATTERS COMMUNITY INTEREST COMPANY Company number 06082225) was launched in 2006 "...to enable faith communities to reduce conflict using conflict resolution tools. Faith Matters works on integration, cohesion, hate crime and countering extremism projects." The oganisation aims to develop strong relationships between faith communities using historical and religious contexts and by identifying commonalities between communities. Faith Matters has worked on countering extremism projects in Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt.[1]

History

According to an archived version of its website from 2009, Faith Matters 'was formed in early 2006 as a vehicle to facilitate faith communities to reduce conflict within local areas'. It 'was incorporated as a not for profit Community Interest Company in February 2007'.[2] In a Directors report for 2007 Fiyaz Mughal reported a project called the 'Bridging Beliefs Forums' that were undertaken in 5 cities across the UK, with 'attendees' 'primarily from Muslim and Jewish communities'. 'The project was conducted in partnership with the Three Faiths Forum, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Sufi Muslim Council.'[3]

Fiyaz Mughal registered the domain name 'faith-matters.org' on 3 July 2008.

Launch of Tell MAMA

Eric Pickles attended the launch of Tell MAMA in February 2012:

The Secretary today spoke at the launch of the MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) project. Developed by Faith Matters, the project will collate and analyse anti-Muslim incidents in England and provide a mechanism to offer support to victims. This project will contribute to the improvement of our own evidence and understanding of Anti-Muslim Attacks, and build confidence in the Muslim community that action is being taken.[4]

Also at the launch was the CST:

CST today attended the launch meeting of Tell MAMA - Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks, a new project from Faith Matters which will record anti-Muslim hate crime. The keynote speaker was the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles MP, whose department is funding the project as part of its integration strategy which was published today.
The government's integration strategy singles out CST as the best model for community-based hate crime recording and victim support, and several of the speakers at today's launch praised CST's work in this area.
Tell MAMA is one of several different organisations, from a wide range of communities, that CST has advised on hate crime recording or other matters of community security over many years, and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future. Hate crime is a blight on many communities and where possible, CST will always help others who are trying to tackle this problem.[5]

People

Board of Directors

Current

Former

  • Fiyaz Mughal - former Secretary and Director, appointed to both positions on 5 February 2007. According to Companies House Mughal resigned from his position as Secretary and Director on 16 January 2020. However he is the only person currently listed on the official Faith Matters website as being on the Board of Directors.[10]
  • Robert James Cooper - former Director, appointed 1 January 2017 and resigned 23 November 2018.[6]
  • Zuber Ahemed Ibrahim - former Director, appointed 30 June 2008 and resigned 15 February 2012.[6]
  • Michelle Anne Lawrence - former Director, appointed 5 February 2007 and resigned 25 July 2009.[6]
  • Andrzej Warhaftig - former Director, appointed 1 January 2017 and resigned 23 November 2018.[6]

Staff

Fiyaz Mughal / Sarah (surname not given) / Iman Atta / Andrzej Warhaftig[11]

Patrons

Including date first listed on the website.

Irfan Malik (January 15, 2019) / Azeem Ibrahim (June 14, 2018) / Varinder Singh Bola (April 5, 2017) / Simon Hughes - President (September 1, 2014)[12] / Rana Youab Khan (September 9, 2013) / Alex Carlile (September 5, 2013) / Laurence Brass (September 2, 2013) / Akbar Ahmed (July 10, 2013) / Sally Becker (August 11, 2011) / Julia Neuberger (February 26, 2010) / Navnit Dholakia (February 26, 2010) / Peter Tatchell ) (February 24, 2010/ Filip Slipaczek (February 22, 2010)[13]

Former patrons

Invited patrons

A biographical note on the website of Muslims Against Anti-Semitism states that Ghanem Nuseibeh was 'invited' to be a patron in 2018.[15]

Projects

Tell MAMA

Building Our Futures Together

In 2013, Mughal characterised Faith Matters’ “Building Our Futures Together” project as in part a de facto public relations exercise for the armed forces, calling it “a way of trying to bridge any potential divides” and “explaining to diverse communities the variety of roles that the armed services undertake.”[16] As part of the project, in 2014 the group brought a British Army Sergeant to address an audience of Westminster School pupils.[17]

MURAL

MURAL – Mutual Understanding, Respect and Learning is an international project that brings together six partners from across the EU – Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and the United Kingdom. The projects key aims are to address the increase in anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim sentiments in Europe by supporting tolerance and respect for different faiths, religious beliefs and ethnicities. Some of the MURAL social action projects led by Faith Matters’ participants were around improving critical thinking and social media literacy skills that can help counter extremist, hateful, and racist narratives online, assist in identifying bots and cyborgs, and provide practical ways to resist and counter extremist narratives. Others included toolkits to provuided legal information around discrimination and hate crimes. [18]

Resources produced for MURAL by Faith Matters:

MURAL was co-funded by the European Commission and led by the British Council. More detail on the project can be found at the British Council webiste.

My Story: Untold Personal Stories of Faith and Spirituality

My Story is a new project launched by Faith Matters in 2019. It aims to bring forward the untold stories of faith and spirituality within local, national, and international contexts. The main aim of My Story is to challenge those who seek to divide communities by offering a different story, an individual, personal, and honest story.[19]

The My Story publication can be viewed here.

The New Debate

The New DEBATE , a programme of Faith Maters, has been put together to offer a new approach to debating. The New DEBATE offers a social and educational experience, a safe space where young people can learn more about debating, civic engagement and dialogue. Using expert education methods, the programme invites young participants to take part in several sessions that shape their communications skills. Participants will also reflect on their own behavioral patterns, interactions with others, and reactions to different opinions. The programme aims to widen young people’s perceptions on their lives, offering them a set of foundational communication tools to be influential in and within their communities.[20]

New DEBATE website.

Funding

This section gathers and presents data on the funding of Faith Matters and Tell MAMA.

Faith Matters Funding
Year Funding (£) Source of Funding Puropose of Funding Director's Remuneration (£)
2018-19 892,000 Department for Communities and Local Government To encourage people to report instances of anti-Muslim hatred via Tell MAMA and carry out community engagement to educate people about anti-Muslim hatred and improve the recognition and reach of Tell MAMA in communities.[21]7,800[22]
2017-18 829,000 Department for Communities and Local Government To encourage people to report instances of anti-Muslim hatred and to carry out community engagement to educate people about anti-Muslim hatred.[23]3,250[24]
2016-17 504,000 Department for Communities and Local Government To encourage people to report instances of anti-Muslim hatred and to carry out community engagement to educate people about anti-Muslim hatred.[25]
2015-16 182,000 Department for Communities and Local Government To encourage people to report instances of anti-Muslim hatred and carry out community engagement to educate people about anti-Muslim hatred.[26]
2014-15 0
2013-14 80,000 Department for Communities and Local Government To support Faith Matters who manage ‘Tell MAMA’ which is the first service to record incidents of anti-Muslim hatred and support victims.[27]
2013-14 337,130 National Lottery Tell Mama (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) grant.[28]
2012-13 191,000 Department for Communities and Local Government Encourage recording of anti-Muslim hate crime and incidents on MAMA and offer victims advice.[29]
2011-12 92,000 Department for Communities and Local Government MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) collates and analyses anti-Muslim incidents in England and offers support to victims. This project will contribute to the tolerance and extremism pillar of integration and improve the evidence base and understanding of anti-Muslim hatred.[30]
2010-11 22,000 Department for Communities and Local Government To provide leadership opportunities for Muslim young people.[31]
2009-10 34,000 Department for Communities and Local Government Build relations between Muslim and Sikh communities through joint working.[32]
2009-10 100,000 Department for Communities and Local Government Grant to deliver a support service for new converts to Islam.[32]
2009-10 29,000 Department for Communities and Local Government Grant to deliver the 'Living Islam Out Loud' tour of England.[32]
2009-10 38,000 Department for Communities and Local Government Grant to compile a case study guide of mosques that provide services to Muslim women.[32]7,200[33]
2008-09 14,888 Department for Communities and Local Government Role model project for Muslim women.[34]
2008-09 37,675 Department for Communities and Local Government Compilation of Mosques Directory for Muslim Women.[34]15,790[35]
Total 3,382,693‬


Faith Matters has received funding from the Home Office’s Building a Stronger Britain Together (BSBT) programme.[36] The Home Office Fact Sheet on Hate Crime states that it provided Tell MAMA with £2.5m of funding between 2017 and 2019 to support its work to encourage the reporting of anti-Muslim hatred and to provide support to victims. Between January and March 2018, Tell MAMA hosted 77 community events reaching over 7,500 people and since 2017 they have established 10 Regional Advisory Boards to support their work.[37] It is unclear whether the £2.5 million in Home Office funding was allocated via the Department for Communities and Local Government and is therefore included in the figures above, or whether it was additional direct funding from the Home Office.

Publications and Reports

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

Affiliations

Views and positions

Prevent

In an August 2014 blog, Mughal criticised the government for neglecting and underfunding Prevent. He wrote that a “resourced and pro-active” Prevent programme was vital and claimed the “view within communities” was that Prevent should be “willing to expand its work”.

Mughal saluted “the sheer determination, tenacity and drive of previous ministers in the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), particularly Hazel Blears” for starting Prevent. “Resources were even pumped into broader projects that not [sic] primarily about tackling violent extremism,” he wrote, “but which would help promote the idea of Prevent in the long run.”[38]

In May 2015, the group tweeted “Prevent is needed and valued. That is what we are keen to say.”[39] That July, they condemned “calls by some community groups to scrap Prevent” as “naïve and politically immature”.[40]

Nevertheless, the group now criticised the strategy’s “securitisation agenda”, saying it threatens free expression, “fixates on ideology and religiosity” over “propensity for violence”, “excludes and isolates groups that do not fit into its narrow definition of ‘British values’” and “will alienate” Muslims.


Security

Mughal has written that “the greatest terrorist threat to the UK does come from groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda” rather than the far-right.[41]

Contact, website

Web: faith-matters.org
Internet Archive holdings of faith-matters.org
Youtube: Faithmatters100
Facebook:FaithMattersUK
Twitter: FaithMattersUK Joined January 2010
Internet archive holdings of Twitter page: @FaithMattersUK

Notes

  1. About Us, Faith Matters. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  2. Faith Matters About US. Retrieved from the Internet Archive of 26 January 2009 on 27 March 2020.
  3. Faith Matters Director's Report. Retrieved from the Internet Archive of 16 June 2009 on 27 March 2020.
  4. Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and The Rt Hon Lord Pickles Communities together not apart. Published 21 February 2012.
  5. CST Tell MAMA - Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks launched today. 21 Feb 2012.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Faith Matters Companies House listing, Companies House. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  7. Iman Abou Atta Appointment Details, Companies House. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  8. Irfan Ahmad Malik Appointment Details, Companies House. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  9. Shabnam Chaudri Appointment Details, Companies House. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  10. Who We Are, Faith Matters website. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  11. Faith Matters Staff, Faith Matters website. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  12. President of Faith Matters – Simon Hughes, Faith Matters website, 1 September 2014.
  13. Faith Matters Patrons, Faith Matters website. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  14. Faith Matters Patrons Retrieved from the Internet Archive of 29 October 2015.
  15. Muslims Against Anti-Semitism Staff. Retrieved from the Internet Archive of 18 October 2019, accessed 1 May 2020.
  16. Our Vision, Building Our Futures Together. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  17. Sergeant Beharry Speaking at Westminster School as Part of a Faith Matters Project, Faith Matters YouTube channel. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  18. MURAL – Mutual Understanding, Respect and Learning, Faith Matters webiste. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  19. My Story: Untold Personal Stories of Faith and Spirituality, Faith Matters website. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  20. The New Debate, Faith Matters website. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  21. Annual Report and Accounts: 2018-19, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  22. Faith Matters abbreviated accounts for period ended 31 March 2018, Companies House. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  23. Annual Report and Accounts: 2017-18, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  24. Faith Matters abbreviated accounts for period ended 31 March 2017, Companies House. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  25. Annual Report and Accounts: 2016-17, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  26. Annual Report and Accounts: 2015-16, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  27. Annual Report and Accounts: 2013-14, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  28. Tell MAMA Grant, National Lottery. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  29. Annual Report and Accounts: 2012-13, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  30. Annual Report and Accounts: 2011-12, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  31. Annual Report and Accounts: 2010-11, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 Annual Report and Accounts: 2009-10, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  33. Faith Matters abbreviated accounts for period ended 31 March 2009, Companies House. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  34. 34.0 34.1 Annual Report and Accounts: 2009-10, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  35. Faith Matters abbreviated accounts for period ended 31 March 2008, Companies House. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  36. Building a Stronger Britain Together supported groups – February 2019, www.gov.uk. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  37. Home Office Fact Sheet - Hate Crime, Home Office. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  38. Fiyaz Mughal, Coalition needs to reform penny-pinching anti-radicalisation policies, Faith Matters website, 29 August 2014.
  39. Faith Matters tweet regarding Prevent, Twitter, 23 May 2015.
  40. As Prevent Centralises, Community Engagement and Local Capacity To Implement Local Tailored Solutions Falls, Faith Matters website, 3 July 2015.
  41. Fiyaz Mughal, Coalition needs to reform penny-pinching anti-radicalisation policies, says Fiyaz Mughal, The Express, 27 August 2014.