The World Faith Blog

World Faith: The Interfaith Service Network

Ray Chambers Joins Where’s The Net? 2 June , 2012

Filed under: News — Nele @ 10:00 am
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Ray Chambers, the UN Special Envoy for Malaria has joined Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation’s worldwide campaign: “Where’s the Net?”. Since February, a symbolic anti-malaria net has been travelling in a relay between people of different faiths across the world to raise awareness about malaria prevention. Despite being entirely preventable, malaria still kills 750, 000 people each year.

The net began its journey in Sierra Leone, where a third of children who die under the age of five are killed by malaria. Since then it has travelled to almost 20 countries including: the USA, Mexico, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Pakistan, Nepal, Philippines, and the UK spreading vital messages about malaria prevention.

The campaign has been embraced by people from all walks of life and different faith backgrounds; students, teachers, MPs, Health Ministers, the First Lady of Sierra Leone, Tony Blair and most recently UN Special Envoy for Malaria, Ray Chambers. All of their events are highlighted in an online journal and they range from malaria education lessons in Uganda to street plays about malaria by school children in India, plus many more.

The symbolic net was presented to Ray Chambers at his UN office this week by local faith leaders from the New York area: Imam Shamsi Ali of the Jamaica Muslim Center, representatives from UNITED SIKHS, the Muslim-Jewish Interfaith Dialogue, the Interfaith Center of New York and young interfaith leaders working for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.

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Youth Bridging Religious Differences 29 May , 2012

On May 26, 2012 Interfaith Youth in Action (IYA) / World Faith Pakistan (WFP) and the Youth Development Foundation organized a bus tour visiting places of worship in Lahore. 58 young people from the country’s different faiths groups participated in the tour which aimed at advancing interfaith relations and cooperation. The bus tour is a practical tool to foster interfaith understanding among religiously-diverse youth which is a determinant for peace and development in Pakistan.

The tour provided a unique experience and opportunity to visit different places of worship and to learn more about the beliefs, practices, and customs of the local faith traditions. The group visited a church, a mosque, a Baha’i temple, a Hindu Mandir, and a Sikh Gurdwara.

The youth of each community welcomed the participants and the religious leaders briefed them on their faith traditions, their history and conflict situations. Following this, the participants had the opportunity to ask additional questions in a Q & A session.

Anila Noor, Participant: Through this event I made friends with people from the Christian, Hindu, and Sikh community which never happened in my life before. Through these friendships we will contribute to build bridges between Pakistan’s different religious groups and we will try to inspire others to engage in interfaith activities.

Shahid Ghouri, Founding President of IYA/WFP: Through this event we provided a safe space for religiously-diverse youth to share information about their own faith and to learn more about other faith traditions. This is an important step to reduce common religious misconceptions and to advance interfaith relationships.

Fr. Ashraf Gill, Catholic Youth Director: The youth should get the chance to solve continuing interfaith differences by engaging in implementable interfaith activities, rather than interfaith seminaries or conferences which take place in an artificial environments, and which turned out to be of little efficiency in the Pakistani context.

At the end of the day all participants had the chance to share their feelings with the group and to explain what they have learned during the day. They were encouraged to make recommendations for future interfaith dialogue.

Recommendations:

  1. Young people should get a better chance to use their potentials and their creative ideas for interfaith dialogue and ecumenism. (Christian participants)
  2. Religious leaders should better include youth to solve ongoing religious gaps to promote peace and development in Pakistan. (Muslim & Hindu participants)
  3. Interfaith groups should be introduced in every educational institution in order to educate, interact, and to develop relations among religiously-diverse youth. (All participants)

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Sam Harris, Will You Visit A Mosque With Me? 3 May , 2012

Filed under: News — Nele @ 10:00 am
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Sam Harris–I know you’re a busy man, but I’d like to ask you out. Will you go to mosque with me?

I’m not trying to convert you to Islam. Like you, I’m not a Muslim. Like you, I don’t believe in any gods. I’m happily, openly atheist. A queer atheist, even. Like you, I have many significant concerns about Islamic beliefs and practices. But still, I want to visit a mosque with you.

We don’t have to go alone–we could go with Mustafa Abdullah, a young community organizer in Winston-Salem, North Carolina who is currently campaigning against the state’s proposed anti-gay Amendment One. We could attend with Najeeba Syeed-Miller, a teacher and activist who has dedicated her life to peacebuilding initiatives. Or we could go with Eboo Patel, founder of the Interfaith Youth Core, who is committed to promoting pluralism and opposing bigotry, and who regularly speaks up for atheists as a religious minority in the United States.

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Sangat TV’s Guerrilla Journalism Wins Fans amid Riots 11 August , 2011

Armed with just a camera and microphone Sangat TV reporter Upinder Randhawa has become a well-known face during coverage of the riots and disorder in Birmingham this week.

Darting around the city, broadcasting as events unfold, he has created a following among viewers and social media users alike.

His direct, and at times, emotional reports on the state of the city seemingly in the grip of looters and rioters seem to have struck a chord with his audience.

Most notably, footage that appears to show his team giving police a lift to chase after a man suspected of being involved in the three deaths in Winson Green on Wednesday has been shown by the BBC, Sky and other outlets.

 

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Muslim and Christian Leaders Pledge Interfaith Harmony

Besides condemning violence, the Christian-Muslim Covenant of Non Violence in Pakistan urges signatories to actively tackle the root of religious tension and promote interfaith harmony.

The pledge, which has already attracted the high profile backing of Senator Malik Hakmeen Khan and General Secretary of the Human Rights Commission IA Rehman, calls for Christians and Muslims to work together ‘to bring prosperity to the country for all’.

Signatures are being sought from religious leaders and public figures, as well as members of the public looking to register their support for non-violence.

 

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Local Interfaith Group to Hold 9/11 Commemoration 9 August , 2011

Bronxville, Eastchester and Tuckahoe Houses of Worship are planning an event to remember those lost in 9/11, all the injured and all the heroes.The Community 9/11 Commemoration will be held on Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 3 PM at The Reformed Church of Bronxville, located at 180 Pondfield Road in the Village of Bronxville.

This civic ceremony, organized by the BIC (Bronxville, Eastchester and Tuckahoe Interfaith Council), will feature stirring music (including bagpipes), a community choir, commemorative readings, greetings from Bronxville, Eastchester and Tuckahoe community leaders and a moving time of silent prayer and the ringing of the commemoration bell.

 

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Islamic Community Center Hosts Ramadan Interfaith Dinner

The Islamic Community Center of Atlanta (ICCA) will host an open invitation, free of cost, Ramadan Interfaith Dinner to be held Sunday, August 14 from 7:30 -10 p.m. Muslims world-wide are currently observing the month of Ramadan, fasting from dawn to sunset. The local Islamic center in Fayetteville is extending an invitation to all Fayette county residents to come break the fast (for dinner) with their Muslim neighbors. It will be an evening of international cuisine and a learning opportunity for the entire family.

Ramadan is the 9th lunar Islamic holy month in which Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, wrongful speech and inappropriate actions. The fast is performed everyday from dawn to sunset for the duration of one month.

The Holy Month is a time for Muslims to improve themselves inwardly and outwardly as human beings of good conscience, focusing mainly on spirituality and personal traits such as patience modesty and self-control. This is also a time of reflection on God’s blessings while sympathizing with the less fortunate in the community.

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The British Sikh Association Annual Seminar 4 August , 2011

The British Sikh Association (BSA) hosted an inter-faith Seminar at the Nehru Centre, London on 28th July 2011 to promote interfaith dialogue for peaceful coexistence.  

Over 130 guests attended the seminar including high profile guest speakers: Lord Hylton; Lord Popat of Harrow; Founder-Director of Faith Matters, Mr. Fiaz Mughal OBE, FCMI; Vice Chancellor of World Sikh University, Dr. Sukhbir S. Kapoor OBE.

Mrs. Jasminder Kasturia, Acting Director of the Nehru Centre, welcomed guests and was proud that the Nehru Centre was promoting such seminars designed to build bridges between communities. She also said that she was looking forward to more events of this nature in the future.

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Putting Unity to the Test 2 August , 2011

‘Muhibah’ may be established between members of society only through friendship, wherein there will be mutual help, kindness and respect.

WHILE diversity of faiths and religions test Malaysians’ capacity for unity, it also accentuates the need of a framework which is practicable and acceptable to all.

Two global scholars, Fazlur Rahman and Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, have suggested in their works that the positive value of religious communities is that they may excel in moral goodness.

According to such interpretation, this is indeed a divine command in the Quran, fastabiqu al-khayrat (al-Maidah, 5:48).

 

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Interfaith Meet to Focus on Social Net

DOHA: The Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue is all set host its ninth conference in October under the theme Social Networking and interfaith dialogue, reported an Arabic daily yesterday.

The conference to be held between October 24 and 26 will discuss many issues in depth related to tools of social networking and interfaith dialogue. The conference will also focus on frequently asked questions about social networking, as social media has played large role in the recent political uprisings in the Arab world.

The conference will be held as part of the centre’s aims to fill the gap between the Qatari community and the other people.

 

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