The Council For Christian Muslim Relations hosted a topical seminar on the 15th of September 2010 at Bucks New University. The main theme on this occasion was to explore whether 'Islam Needs PR' given that in the post- 9/11 and 7/7 atmosphere a certain amount of negativity towards Muslims and Islam seems to have taken root amongst non-Muslim people everywhere including Great Britain.
Miss Remona Aly, who is Director of Campaigns at an organisation called Exploring Islam Foundation (EIF) in London, facilitated the seminar. She is a British born Muslim professional who is anxious to promote Islam in it’s true light so that many of the misperceptions and prejudices which have built up in the last few years in particular can be mitigated.
The background to her presentation was a recent YouGov poll commissioned by EIF to find out the attitudes of ordinary people in this country towards Muslims and Islam. The findings were such that the press and the media ran the story as 'Britons link Islam with extremism, says a survey'. The YouGov poll found 58% of those questioned linked Islam with extremism while 69% believed it encouraged the repression of women. The survey polled 2152 adults during May 2010 and clearly paints a worryingly negative picture of British attitudes towards Islam. Asked if Muslims had a positive impact on British society the poll found as many as 40% disagreed with the statement. Half linked Islam with terrorism, just 13% thought it was based on peace and only 6% associated it with justice.
Miss Remona Aly also talked about the poster campaign which was launched by EIF following the survey findings on London Transport to combat negative perceptions of Muslims. The poster campaign was called 'Inspired by Muhammad' with the aim and hope that it can help non-Muslims to better understand the faith that inspires and guides their Muslim friends, neighbours and colleagues. In addition the initiative would also help British Muslims to reclaim the Prophet (PBUH) as a time-honoured guide for peace, compassion and social justice from those who seek to twist his teachings.
During the course of the seminar a powerful message was read out on behalf of a large number of local priests and vicars. The message had been prepared by Anne Bowker and Rebecca Hickman of Sharing of Faiths Group to show solidarity with the muslim community in the context of the American Pastor Terry Jones threats to burn the Holy Quran on the 9th anniversary of 9/11. The message read as follows;
          'We deeply regret that the words and actions of a small church in America are causing you hurt and anguish,
           particularly at this holy time in the Islamic calendar. We stand in solidarity with you in deploring the deeply
           offensive views preached by Pastor Terry Jones in Florida, and give you our heartfelt assurance that his beliefs
           do not represent a christian position as we understand and practice our faith.
           It is beyond our comprehension that a pastor should abuse his role as leader of a church community by stirring
           up hatred. We too feel pain and distress at his actions.
          We value what we as chritians share with you- values of love, peace and mutual respect. And we welcome
          the long tradition of positive engagement between muslim and christian communities in High Wycombe.
          We state again our wish to be an active part of ongoing efforts to build understanding across different faith
          traditions locally, through dialogue and frienship.'
The seminar was well attended by both the muslim and christian communities in High Wycombe including Imams, priests and prominent lay leaders. 
The seminar was chaired by Chauhdry Shafique who is the Chairman of the Council for Christian Muslim Relations with Rev. David Picken of All Saints Church who is Vice-Chaiman.


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