Episode Two.

Radical Trust-Building: A path through conflict

with Julie Siddiqi MBE & Dr Lindsay Simmonds

Our second episode in the Crossing the Divide public dialogue series features Julie Siddiqi MBE and Dr Lindsay Simmonds, influential members of their respective Muslim and Jewish communities.

Episode Two - Flyer PNG

Together, through a foundation of radical trust-building and unconditional empathy, Julie and Lindsay have built an enduring friendship that has enabled them to drive groundbreaking change across the UK’s political and ideological divides.

In 2023, sparked by the horrific violence of the Gaza-Israel conflict, media reports of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks across the UK rose significantly. Recognising the ripple effect of these increasing tensions on the ability of their own communities to continue safely advocating for justice and peace – Julie and Lindsay broke boundaries and bravely constructed a space for influential faith community members to meet without fear of persecution or judgement. 

Julie and Lindsay demonstrate how trust-building and empathetic dialogue practices have the capacity to offer each of us a way out of recurring cycles of violence and oppression – by representing difference and still validating anger, advocating for and demanding justice while protecting the right to be heard, and rehumanising the ‘other’ without fear of repercussion.

Julie Siddiqi MBE is a highly influential member of the Muslim community, with over 25 years of grassroots experience working with faith communities across the UK. Julie is passionate about interfaith relations and building the capacity and courage of communities to explore difficult conversations surrounding faith, identity, and empathy.

Dr Lindsay Simmonds is an influential member of the Jewish community and a researcher specialising in Women of Faith and Peacebuilding. Lindsay is involved in several interfaith and peacebuilding projects which promote respectful, robust, and long-lasting connections between faith leaders across Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities.

“It’s during catastrophic times when relationships are tested, but it is precisely now we need to show friendship, solidarity and trust.”

– Dr Lindsay Simmonds


We may not be able to directly influence the events in Israel Gaza but being able to keep friendships alive here, despite everything that’s happening, is in itself a small but significant kind of peace.

– Julie Siddiqi