Education and celebration towards different faiths within contemporary society has been identified as hugely important at a recently held Manchester event.

Organisers of the #westandtogether event held at the Manchester Students’ Union, believe the rising in intolerance towards different faiths and beliefs present in society, is to blame for the fractions created within communities.

Qaisra Shahraz, Co-Chair of Faith Network 4 Manchester, said that acceptance is extremely important and is urgently needed now more than ever before within communities.

The event comes in the wake of the EU referendum and the voting of Donald Trump as President in the United States, which has only heightened tension amongst many sectors of society. This can be seen in an NPCC study below (Figure 1), that states there was a 40% increase of hate crime in the UK after the EU referendum this year.

Figure 1
Figure 1

Mrs Shahraz told those in attendance: “Events like these really hope to bring the message home that we want promotion of peace, standing together, unity, and learning about each other.

“When you sit with people, interact with people, when you eat together, when you ask each other questions you can learn an awful lot.

“Personal interaction is amazing and what it does for you is it opens up your mind and soul which gives people that positive rapport.”

It was only this past summer that saw a 50% rise of hate crimes that was reported in Greater Manchester and organisers were key on promoting solidarity at University level.

Saffa Mir, Community Officer of the Student Union and organiser of the event herself added: “In the times we are living now, at the moment it is more needed now than ever really to celebrate the diversity of Manchester.

“We go on about the diversity in Manchester but sometimes I don’t think we celebrate it enough.

“The purpose of this event more than raising awareness, is about coming together and celebrate the fact we are all different faiths and we can all co-exist.”

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Attendants holding up the banner #StandingUpForOneAnother







For more information on the award winning Faith Network for Manchester committee visit the FN4M’s website, where donations and support are welcomed.

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