A role play highlighting diversity in community and shows how dialogue plays an important role in many aspects of existence.
A. Depending on which context/country you are facilitating in, you could consider doing the same exercise by replacing the Mosque with a Church or Temple depending on which religion in the minority religion.
B. In some countries, this exercise could be very sensitive depending on the status of the rights of minorities and how freedom of religion/conscience is dealt with.
Required Material: a room with tables and chairs. A board.
Divide the group into three.
The case: an interest group of both Muslims and non-Muslims has proposed a plan to construct a mosque in the municipality. Residents from the neighbourhood where the mosque is to be built have created a group against the mosque construction.
Divide the participants into three. One mosque group, one municipality group and one group of local residents. Tell them they have to speak in groups for 15 minutes about what considerations they have regarding this case. What are their interests and concerns?
Write down some of the keywords from each group. What they have considered, etc. Start a dialogue between the groups.
Tell them to consider whether they can accept and understand some of the other groups’ concerns and interests? It can be an advantage to do this in the group first and then in plenary session.
Ask them to consider which values play a role in their view on this case. First in the groups followed by a discussion in plenary.
Reflect together in plenary. Ask them to consider what kind of layers this case contains. Economy, cultural identity, religion, values, fear of the unknown etc.
Try to separate out each of the layers and ask them to consider which one has most weight when making a decision.
Question: How was it to defend an opinion that was not yours? What does this exercise tell about rights of the minority?
Thank everyone for their participation, and summarise what was learned.