Organising intercultural and interreligious activities

A toolkit for local authorities


Current Affairs Committee

Sedef Cankoçak

Tel : +33 3 88 41 21 10

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“Tarjama (TA)” is a non-governmental organisation/community initiative that works in religious education, community work and prevention in Sevran, a French “sensitive urban area” with a majority Muslim population. In Sevran young disenfranchised people from north-African family backgrounds are subject to social disintegration, drug trafficking and Salafist radicalisation supported by organisations from Persian Gulf countries. Here the 2006 Parisian banlieue riots took place.

Tarjama works around mostly Arab speaking mosque communities and reaches out by audio translated Friday sermons and on the ground community work to those young people who increasingly separate from mosques. TA applies various methods from religious education, works with social media as well as the internet and uses strategies of community organising. TA’s practitioners mostly grew up in the community and often are returning professionals serving as role models for the young people at risk of exclusion and radicalisation.

A particularly promising aspect of the ‘Tarjama’ approach is how it builds on the traditional mosque community in a bilingual social area and applies new tools of social media, internet and community organising. In the future TA intends to diversify its methodological spectrum, including more sophisticated tools of religious education and social integration work, reach out into other similarly affected communities in France and engage in international practice exchange.