Sunday the 5th of June 2016, a group of Shi’a scholars were invited to a meeting by their Sunni counterparts in Birmingham. The Sunni group was made up of leaders of different denominations in the UK. The attendees described the atmosphere of meeting as very brotherly and welcoming.
The meeting addressed issues of unity and cooperation among Muslims underscoring the need for bridge building based upon great commonalities that exists among them.
The event was the follow up to an number of previous encounters, one in Birmingham in 2004 during a celebration of the Milad ul Nabi and the other one in Qum (2016) where a group of Sunni scholars were invited to visit the country and meet Shi’a religious personalities as well as leaders of the Sunni minority that live there. (See islam today issue May 2016 issue 35 ). While Sunni and Shi’a scholars meet regularly at local level, the meeting on Sunday 5th of June saw the participation of scholars not only from Birmingham but also from Manchester, Watford, Wolverhampton and London.
Further meeting are expected to take place in the near future including an event open to the public too to be held at a Birmingham mosque.