Building Bridges: Foro Abraham’s Interfaith Efforts to Promote Understanding and Inclusion in Spain

Foro Abraham for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (Spain) has participated for another year as a training entity in the online course ‘Agents for the prevention of Islamophobia and discrimination on religious grounds’. As a strong advocate for social cohesion and the inclusion of immigrant and refugee populations, Foro Abraham is committed to promoting understanding between people of different faiths or no faith.

Through their participation in this course, they hope to combat religion-related hate crimes or hate crimes based on religion or belief, and to provide tools for recognizing and combating Islamophobia and discrimination on religious grounds faced by these communities. As a member of the KAICIID-supported Network for Dialogue, Foro Abraham continues to prioritize their efforts in promoting social cohesion and interfaith understanding for the betterment of all members of society.

This free course, which is taught in Spanish, is the result of the work of a network of 13 organizations, coordinated by the Catholic Foundation La Merced Migraciones.

The course is now in its eleventh edition, having begun in 2017 as a once-a-year face-to-face course, and has evolved to include an online version and to be held twice a year. Around 80 people obtain the course completion certificate each year.

Foro Abraham’s project manager, Amanda Figueras, stated that “It is a unique opportunity to be able to answer genuine questions that many people interested in interfaith issues have. There is still a great need to explain and learn to listen, so this training seems to us to be key and fits very well with our goals at Foro Abraham.”

The association works with the Local Police of Madrid, the Complutense and Nebrija Universities, the Cepaim Foundation, SOS racism, and others to design, create and implement the course content, providing participants with tools that will help them to recognize and combat Islamophobia and discrimination on religious grounds.

In addition to the course, the network has published a Handbook and a Resource Guide based on years of experience and accumulated learning. These materials serve as valuable resources for those who are interested in combating religion-related hate crimes or hate crimes based on religion or belief.

By educating individuals on the nature of religion-related hate crimes and discrimination on religious grounds, this course and its related activities help to promote a better understanding of the issues that refugees and migrants face, and facilitate their inclusion in the new society.

The thematic blocks addressed in the course include sociological and institutional approaches to religious diversity in Spain, culture, society, and religion, and the exercise of everyday intrahistory of pluralism and migration.

The course also addresses discriminatory processes, stereotypes, prejudices, and discriminatory behavior, as well as the detection, reporting, and prevention of hate crimes.

Additionally, the course covers Islamophobia, beyond religious discrimination, and the image of Muslim women and “the right to dress” in relation to human rights and religious identity. Lastly, the course explores the contribution of religious pluralism to society.

Each year, approximately 80 people benefit from this experience, and the evaluation at the end of each edition shows positive results, reinforcing the motivation to continue the work.

The work of Foro Abraham and its partner organizations serves as a valuable resource for individuals seeking to combat religion-related hate crimes and discrimination on religious grounds, and promotes greater understanding and inclusion of refugees and migrants in the broader community.

If you are interested in participating in the next edition of the course, you can visit the website of the Catholic Foundation La Merced Migraciones for more information on the application process and course dates. The course is free of charge and taught in Spanish, and is open to anyone who is interested in learning more about combatting Islamophobia and discrimination on religious grounds. With the course being held twice a year, there are multiple opportunities to participate and become an agent for the prevention of hate crimes in your community.


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