Over the last decade there have been times when tensions between Sikhs and Muslims in the UK have increased. In late 2001 there was a highly charged atmosphere in the country when hoax letters were circulated concerning the conversion of Sikh girls to Muslims through force. More recently in 2008 there were widespread rumours that Sikh girls were being converted to Muslims through force on University campuses. A national project was devised to develop strong leadership in key conurbations in England and to address the rising tensions.
Urban Nexus was commissioned to work with the Muslim community in five of the key regions to gather views from a cross section of the Muslim community including faith leaders, youth workers, local councillors and students with a view to holding a 4 day residential in Corrymeela, Northern Ireland. This took place in Early July 2008 and approximately 30 individuals from both communities, including London and the Midlands, came together. The residential was facilitated by staff from Corrymeela who has dealt with tensions in Northern Ireland for many decades and both sides expressed their anger and concerns over recent and historic issues including misconceptions. The project culminated in a report and launch of a national organisation to develop good relations between them.