On Thursday, 13 November, police in Brent ended its Inter Faith Network itinerary for 2014 with a Faith Awareness training session for officers held in Wembley Central Mosque. The events show the strong cohesion that we have in Brent. In attendance were ten officers from Brent who received detailed information of Islam and Judaism.
Aside from the basic beliefs of these faiths and their often notable similarities, there was a question and answer section where issues around how beliefs can become misinterpreted and radicalised. This was an event of positive interaction and links being made.
Superintendent Andy Jones, police in Brent said: “These training events have been organised via a local Rabbi that sits on Brent Police Inter Faith Network and has great links with other religious leads on the borough. The events show the strong cohesion that we have in Brent and provide excellent guidance and knowledge for our staff on these religions. The fact that they are run from a local Mosque adds extra interest and value and is testament to the excellent relationships we have with our faith groups. I am really grateful to our religious leaders for their support in this regard.”
Mahmud Rahim, Brent’s Met Police Volunteer Manager said: “We have a vibrant Inter Faith Network that dovetails into our business processes; for instance our members are able to guide our custody personnel regarding faith provision in that area, give advanced dates for our Operations department as regards religious festivals or cascade key community messages amongst their congregations.”
Shahab Hussein, Wembley Central Masjid said: “We at Wembley Central Masjid consider it a privilege to partner with our good friends from the Harrow and Wembley Progressive Synagogue to provide the police with training and awareness on Islam and Judaism.
Our friendship has strengthened over the years to provide lively, entertaining and serious eye opening discussions for those who see peoples of both these faiths in constant turmoil in the Middle East. I believe these sessions have helped to foster long term relationships between our two faiths and provide the police with a unique insight into how friendship, care and understanding can go a long way to bridge the gaps.”
Rabbi Frank Dabba Smith, Harrow & Wembley Progressive Synagogue said: “Together with my colleagues at the Wembley Central Masjid, it is a privilege to work with the police to help create a more compassionate and cohesive civil society here in the UK. The thrust of our joint effort is to build relations between human beings so that in situations requiring attention to faith sensitivities, police officers will have the confidence simply to ask what is the respectful way to conduct their important work.
When it comes to human interactions, open communication is much better than following recipes. In our seminars, it is wonderful to witness understanding and trust being built in an atmosphere where any conceivable issue may be openly and fully discussed.”