This report from the Institute of Community Cohesion describes the importance of understanding local communities in order to build cohesion between them. It sets out a model that highlights religious and ethnic diversity and illustrates where these intersect to influence the establishment of local leadership structures and networks. The model will help those working in local agencies to identify a wider range of potential contacts in local communities, reducing dependence on traditional community leaders who may represent only a limited section of Muslim communities.
The report also highlights the challenge of building cohesion and it describes the iCoCo belief that if there is better understanding and appreciation of the various Muslim communities it will be easier to build bridges between them and all other communities to build mutual trust and respect.
It emphasizes the need for local authorities to avoid seeing ‘Muslims’ as a monolithic group of people in the UK, because in fact it has the most diverse Muslim community in the world.
The report is available from iCoCo. www.coventry.ac.uk/icoco