Blackburn Cathedral is to host a seminar which aims create a safe space to explore common ground and discuss the differences between the Muslim and Christian faiths. 
The seminar will take place at Blackburn Cathedral on March 23 as part of a larger nation-wide tour. 
The announcement of the seminar comes just weeks after the BBC aired a controversial Panorama documentary questioning the relationships between communities in Blackburn.  
Speaking of the documentary at the time, senior Anglican clergy said that the BBC Panorama programme ‘White Fright’ did not paint an accurate picture of Blackburn.
Saying it ‘failed to tell the whole story’ the cathedral will now hold the seminar: Jihad of Jesus, an event which aims to create a safe space to stimulate helpful and powerful conversation between faiths. 

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Mohammed Ali Amla, founder of Christian Muslim Encounters and someone involved with bringing the seminar to Blackburn said: “We want this to be an event where people can come to and learn about communities working together, we are passionate about creating a safe space to have honest and constructive dialogue.
“We have worked hard to create a panel of people who can discuss their thoughts and own experiences with the audience, stimulating frank discussion and rich, important conversation."
One key member of the panel is Dave Andrews, an Australian Christian author and writer of the book: ‘The Jihad of Jesus: The Sacred non-violent Struggle For Justice.’
Keen to ensure that a local angle was brought to the seminar, Ali said it was of key importance to make sure figures from the community were also speaking at the event. 
The Bishop of Burnley, Philip North and Imam Saleem Seedat will also make up the panel on the night.
Another member of the panel will be Julie Siddiqi, a mentor, consultant and activist with a focus of gender issues, Jewish-Msulim relations and social actions.
"The people who will be joining us to discuss relations between Muslims and Christians on the night all recognise the challenges and differences that we face” said Ali.
The announcement of the seminar comes just weeks after the BBC were slammed for claiming that segregation levels had increased in Blackburn over the past years.

Controversial Panorama programme about Blackburn a ‘slap in the face’

Speaking about the documentary, Ali said: “What it didn’t look at is the great work that is happening within communities in Blackburn.

"It only depicted a negative picture of the town. This is something I have addressed by bringing diverse communities together through the many projects I have delivered over years, be that women building peace, creating safe spaces for difficult dialogue, collaborating with local and national organisations and working with leaders, activists, practitioners, teachers and youth workers to develop local solutions.” 

The seminar has been organized in collaboration with Lancashire District of the Methodist Church; Near Neighbours; Churches Together in Lancashire; Blackburn Interfaith Forum; Light Foundation and Lancashire Forum of Faiths.
‘Jihad of Jesus’ is a nation-wide tour. To find out more details and book to a place at the seminar visit: