Welcome to Connected, the MIF blog and the place where we share our news, thoughts and inspiration.

Register for our Religious Education and Higher Order Learning webinar!

Children's Assembly

The webinar takes place on Tuesday 21st October 2014 at 4:00pm–4:45pm (45 minutes) and shows how Interfaith Explorers supports the development of higher order thinking skills and helps pupils to understand the diverse world around them.

The new national curriculum emphasizes the importance of higher order learning to promote skills such as ’problem solving’, ‘critical thinking’ and ‘creativity’ as well as knowledge building.

They are activated when pupils encounter unfamiliar problems, uncertainties, questions, or dilemmas – all pertinent in the study of RE and the experience of living in multi-ethnic, multi-faith and pluralistic communities. Successful applications of these skills result in explanations, decisions and performances that facilitate open-minded, flexible attitudes in pupils.

Interfaith Explorers offers teachers a useful RE, Citizenship and PSHE educational resource to helps pupils prepare for a rapidly changing world – promoting the qualities young people need to live successful and fulfilled lives in the 21st century – and understand the diverse world emerging around them. It helps develop the attributes and abilities of confident individuals, successful learners and responsible citizens.

This webinar will cover:

  • The key principles to use when engaging pupils in higher order thinking in RE;
  • How Interfaith Explorers ‘I-Can’ levels can support the development of skills effective in high quality RE;
  • Activities and resources that can support the acquisition of higher learning skills.

More info and webinar registration.

Interfaith Explorers kicks off the new academic year with new teachers workshops series!

Interfaith Explorers logo

As part of our ongoing series of free teacher workshops to show how our great Interfaith Explorers learning resource can support RE, PHSE and citizenship delivery in primary schools, we are holding a number of workshops during the autumn term in Birmingham, Slough and Wandsworth, London.

Participants will have the opportunity to explore the resource online and find out how it can be used to support pupils to respect cultural and religious diversity. They’ll also have the opportunity to meet the team behind Interfaith Explorers and contribute to its future development by joining the Interfaith Explorers teacher ambassador’s community. 

Open to all teachers and those with responsibility for RE, PSHE and citizenship education in primary schools, including governors with responsibility for SMSC. To find out more, including dates and times, email or visit

Interfaith Talks webinar: how to lead effective interfaith discussions between your pupils

Children Assembly

Register for our Interfaith Talks webinar on Thursday 25th September 2014 at 4.00pm to 4.45pm (45 minutes)!

Schools are increasingly becoming the few places where common values are promoted. On a day-to-day basis teachers are finding themselves dealing with diverse school environments – and with pupils who reflect a spectrum of different religious, cultural and political beliefs. Consequently, teachers play a critical role in arbitrating what’s right and wrong at a time when there is a renewed focus on encouraging respect and understanding between pupils.

This webinar will cover:

  • The key principles to use when managing sensitive discussions with pupils
  • Risks and challenges: what makes interfaith dialogue potentially hard to manage
  • Key insights and learning from experienced professionals working in religiously diverse school environments
  • How Interfaith Explorers can be used as an effective interfaith discussion resource

More info and webinar registration.

Register for ‘Misquoting Mohammed’ book launch and seminar with Professor Jonathan AC Brown from Georgetown University!

Misquoting Mohammed: the challenge and choices of interpreting the Prophet’s legacy by Professor Jonathan A.C. Brown front cover

Co-organised by the Maimonides Interfaith Foundation and Islamic Courses we are pleased to announce a unique event with Professor Jonathan A.C. Brown, author of the critically acclaimed ‘Misquoting Mohammed: the challenge and choices of interpreting the Prophet’s legacy’.

Few things provoke controversy in the modern world like Islam. Modern media are replete with alarm over jihad, 
underage marriage and the threat of stoning under Shariah law. Sometimes rumour, sometimes based 
in fact and often misunderstood, the tenets of Islamic law and dogma were not set in the religion’s founding 
moments. They were developed over centuries by the clerical class of Muslim scholars. 

’Misquoting Muhammad’ takes the reader back in time through Islamic civilization and traces how 
and why such controversies developed, offering an inside view into how key and controversial aspects 
of Islam took shape. From the protests of the Arab Spring to Istanbul at the fall of the Ottoman Empire, 
and from the ochre red walls of Delhi’s great mosques to the trade routes of Islam’s Indian Ocean world, 
Misquoting Muhammad lays out how Muslim intellectuals have sought to balance reason and revelation, weigh science and religion, and negotiate the eternal truths of scripture amid shifting values.

About Professor Jonathan A.C. Brown

Professor Jonathan AC Brown was raised as an Anglican and converted to Islam in 1997. He received 
his BA in History from Georgetown University in 2000 and his doctorate in Near Eastern Languages 
and Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 2006.

Professor Brown has studied and conducted 
research in Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Indonesia, India and Iran, and 
he is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His book publications include The Canonization 
of al-Bukhari and Muslim: The Formation and Function of the Sunni Hadith Canon (Brill, 2007); Hadith: Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World (Oneworld, 2009) and Muhammad: A Very 
Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2011). He has published articles in the fields of Hadith, 
Islamic law, Sufism, Arabic lexical theory and Pre-Islamic poetry and is the editor in chief of the 
Oxford Encyclopedia of Islamic Law.

Professor Brown’s current research interests include the history of forgery and historical criticism in Islamic 
civilization; comparison with the Western tradition; and modern conflicts between late Sunni traditionalism and Salafism in Islamic thought.

Book online now.

Celebrating Diversity webinar: How it can help support the delivery of SMSC development in schools

Happy Children in the classroom

Register for our Celebrating Diversity webinar on Thursday 10th July September 2014 at 4.00pm to 4.45pm (45 minutes)!

Parents, teachers, government and Ofsted all agree that school is about far more than learning the curriculum. Knowledge is the key to helping young people gain new perspectives about the diverse world we live in today.

Celebrating diversity within the school and classroom, as part of a broader Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development approach (SMSC), gives pupils the opportunity to learn more about cultures, ethnicities and religions that may be different from their own.

Learning about these differences helps pupils develop respect and open-mindedness towards others and can help overcome ignorance and prejudice.

The webinar will cover:

  • How celebrating diversity helps schools deliver effective SMCS development for their pupils;
  • Why celebrating diversity is important in classrooms and schools;
  • How school communities can support and build diversity;
  • How Interfaith Explorers can been used as an effective SMCS resource;
  • Practical steps that can embed a strong ‘celebrating’ diversity’ ethos in schools.

More info and webinar registration.

Why the world needs compassion now

One World Many Faiths

Tuesday 1 July 7.30 – 8.45pm
Royal Opera House, London

Watch the final One World Many Faiths event! Join UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova and Karen Armstrong FRSL, internationally renowned scholar on comparative religions, in conversation to discuss religion and conflict in the world today.

In a year marking the centenary of the First World War, when arguably the world increasingly seems to resemble the world of 1914, how do we contend with a global environment that is increasingly multipolar, unpredictable and ravaged by conflicts driven by ethnic and religious divides?

Karen Armstrong will provide an exposition on her call for compassion in an attempt to change the conflict paradigm, and bring compassion to the forefront of the world’s attention.


Muslim pupils and fasting webinar: what teachers and schools need to know

Register for our Muslim pupils and fasting webinar on Thursday 26th June 2014 at 4.00pm to 4.45pm (45 minutes)!

Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan is one of the five basic duties of Islma observed by many Muslim pupils. On the eve of the start of Ramadan 2014, this webinar provides guidance for schools and teachers to help them make informed decisions about supporting Muslim pupils who may be fasting.

The webinar covers:

  • The implications of Ramadan for schools and teachers – including the impact on pupils;
  • Teachers and schools responsibilities during the month of Ramadan;
  • What special provisions should schools make during Ramadan;
  • Understanding the difference between a Quranic duty and cultural practices
  • Communicating with Muslim parents
  • Ramadan good practice in supporting teachers and pupils

More info and webinar registration.

Former French Culture Minister Jack Lang awards the Dialogue Among Cultures Award 2014 to Foundation Chairman, Professor Nasser David Khalili

During the Euro-Mediterranean meeting of the Aladdin Project which took place at the French National Assembly on 12 June, 2014, the former Culture Minister Jack Lang awarded the Aladdin Award for Dialogue Among Cultures to Professor Nasser David Khalili.

The chairman of the Maimonides Interfaith Foundation, and principal contributor to the exhibition ‘Hajj, le pèlerinage à la Mecque’ which is currently taking place at the Arabic World Institute, in Paris, was recognised for his efforts in creating dialogue between cultures and religions, alongside his contribution to bringing harmony, peace and respect.

Former French Culture Minister Jack Lang expressed his happiness to reward a ‘deeply humanist’ man of culture and science, without who the major exhibition about the Hajj taking place in the Arab World Institute in Paris would never have taken place. Mr. Lang praised Pr. Khalili’s determination of carry dialogue between cultures and religions and to improve the mutual knowledge of people from different cultures.

‘You indicate to all of those who are here this evening that culture is also a path, even one of the greatest paths toward the love for the others, toward the dialogue which you call for’, said the former Culture Minister to Professor Khalili.

In his word of thanks, Nasser David Khalili called the audience to continue ‘building bridges around cultures’, saying ‘it is a mutual bridge, you cannot label it: you can only appreciate it’.



Read Professor Khalili’s speech here (PDF, 262kB).

I AM ME Live

I AM ME Live Flyer June 2014

Tuesday 17 June, 7.30 – 10pm
The Drum, Birmingham
Tickets: Standard £10 / Student £7

Come to the third of our One World Many Faith events, this time in Birmingham!

Which forces shape Youth in Britain today? Internationally renowned British Asian reggae artist, DJ and TV presenter, Apache Indian leads a mix of interactive debate and live music to looks at the influences currently defining British youth.

Host: Apache Indian
Performers: TaZzZ and Raxstar (featuring Rita Morar, Immi and Priti Menon) and Dr Zeus, alongside DJ Doni Brasco; Khiza and Soni-J; Sheena; Team PBN; DJ Surinder Rattan and Cheshire Cat; plus music legend Shin from DCS.

Book tickets here.

Is there room in Britishness for cultural difference?

One World Many Faiths

Watch the second in a series of One World Many Faiths events! Shortly after writing Moses und Aron, Schoenberg fled to the USA to escape the Nazi led persecution of European Jews. In this debate leading social commentators consider whether multiple cultures and religions can exist side by side in modern day Britain. The panel will tackle questions such as is multiculturalism really to blame for the erosion of community?

Abdul Rehman Malik, Journalist and Programme Director of the Radical Middle Way

Julie Siddiqi, from the Islamic Society of Britain
Dave Rich, Deputy Director of Communications at the Community Security Trust
Daniel Trilling, Editor of the New Humanist magazine