Global Newsroom

Better Together: Confrontation to Cooperation

Friday, 19. March 2021


We see it everywhere we turn. Division. Political, cultural, and ideological differences between people is seemingly amplified in communities today. Conflicts arise and spiral out to affect everyone, holding our society back from making progress.  

What can we do to change this? How can we diffuse tension, engage with different perspectives, and work together to make our communities thrive?   

Learn how during the upcoming panel discussion where we will show you practical ways to move from confrontation to collaboration. No matter what is happening in your community – participants will leave the discussion with tools and practices currently being used in communities today to heal divides.    

This 90-minute discussion will feature renowned peacemakers Imam and the Pastor as well as community activist Amina Khalid who will explore what tools they use in Sustainable Communities Programme. Get an inside look at the actions being taken in areas like Nigeria, Lebanon, and the UK.    


Imam and the Pastor

Muhammad, a Muslim imam, and James, a Christian pastor, were once bitter enemies, determined to kill each other. Today they are friends and joint directors of an NGO, the Interfaith Mediation Centre in Kaduna, one of the most important cities in northern Nigeria. The work of ‘the Imam and the Pastor’, as they are widely known, addresses a key issue facing people of faith today: cooperation without compromising their fundamental religious principles. 

Their mediation process comprises four elements - investigation of the root causes of the conflict; Ashafa meets the Muslims to discuss their grievances and Wuye does same with the Christians; both groups are brought together to dialogue; the groups commit to live in peace and to settle future disputes through dialogue. This approach has brought peace to religiously-divided groups in several Nigerian states including Plateau, Bornu, Taraba, Benue and Kaduna. In Kaduna and Plateau states, Ashafa and Wuye worked with the state governments to achieve the Kaduna State Peace Declaration (2002) and the Yelwa-Shendam Peace Affirmation (2005) that saw Muslim and Christian leaders commit to religious tolerance. They have also worked to mitigate conflict in Iraq, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Libya, Kenya and Ethiopia.

Imam Ashafa and Pastor Wuye have received numerous awards for their work including the Peacemaker in Action Award (2000), the Bremen Peace Award (2005), the Prize for Conflict Prevention (2009) and the Deutsche-Africa Preis (2013). They have twice been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Amina Khalid

Amina Khalid

Amina is internationally trained in dialogue facilitation, mediation, communication and conflict resolution and has worked in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. She has been with Initiatives of Change for over 10 years and is currently, she is the Head of Programme for Sustainable Communities and a Trustee for Somali Initiatives for Dialogue and Democracy (SIDD), as well as founder of Peace Begins at Home – an international inter-generational dialogue training created to build bridges between generations and policymakers.  

As Head of the Sustainable Communities Programme for IofC UK, Amina and her team inspire, equips and connect grassroot leaders, civil society organizations, and decision makers across the UK and internationally. They accomplish this through their unique platform and methodology, and focus on IofC’s three strategic areas (Trustbuilding, Ethical Leadership, and Sustainable Living) to create community cohesion. 

In her role as an international advocate for peace she uses her language and coaching skills to inspire, equip and connect individuals and organizations to become positive change agents. Academically, she specializes in the Sociology of Medicine and Social Policy with a Masters in Equality and Diversity Policies. However, she has a deep passion for working with grassroots and women of all backgrounds and faiths to build bridges and unlock their full potential. 

Roweida Saleh

Roweida Saleh


Roweida is an educator and IofC activist for more than twenty years now. She has studied and experimented, both formally and informally, on ways to integrate universal human values in classroom instruction. She believes that there are ways to incorporate these values through critical thinking and through tools in order to build trust and peace.

This event was held on 25 March, 2021 with over 100 participants joining from across the globe. The recording was made available to those who registered - be sure to sign up for our newsletter to catch the next virtual event!