In the last decade or so, relations between Muslim and non-Muslim have become increasingly fraught. Successive surveys in western nations report that Muslims are viewed with suspicion and their motives suspected, while in Muslim countries the West is often seen as aggressive and hypocritical. The position of Muslim communities within western nations is itself often constrained by a lack of trust, while recent high-profile interventions by politicians in the West declaring the failure of multiculturalism often seem to have in mind the postcolonial Muslim communities in their midst.
The Muslims, Trust and Cultural Dialogue research project analyses the conditions of trust and mistrust in three overlapping areas of modern life: politics and society; business and finance; and art and culture. It is an international multidisciplinary network of scholars, practitioners and stakeholders exploring questions of trust in the relationship between Muslim diaspora populations in the West and the societies around them. The project is committed to understanding how existing practices in these three arenas enact dialogue and negotiation between groups in ways that can be mutually informative, and which help us move beyond misunderstanding and negative stereotyping.