Canadian faith communities celebrate Interfaith Harmony Week

Canadian faith communities celebrate Interfaith Harmony Week

On February 23, the National Muslim Christian Liaison Committee (NMCLC) held its annual event to celebrate World Interfaith Harmony Week.

The event themed, “Bridging Our Divides: Fostering Inclusivity and Positive Engagements,” was held virtually and attended by Canadians from across the country.

“We thank all member organizations for sponsoring and collaborating with NMCLC to plan this annual event,” said Rev. Tuula Van Gaasbeek, Christian Co-Chair of NMCLC in her opening remarks. “This event is also part of the annual World Interfaith Harmony Week. The World Interfaith Harmony Week was first proposed at the UN General Assembly on September 23, 2010 by H.M. King Abdullah II of Jordan.”

“The World Interfaith Harmony Week provides a platform—one week in a year—when all interfaith groups and other groups of goodwill around the world can show what a powerful movement they are,” she added. “It is hoped that this initiative will provide a focal point from which all people of goodwill can recognize that the common values they hold far outweigh the differences they have, and thus provide a strong dosage of peace and harmony to their communities.”

“The National Muslim Christian Liaison Committee has been in existence for over 3 decades and brings representatives of Muslim and Christian denominations and organizations in Canada into a forum for respectful dialogue on themes of common interest, and for the exchange of faith-related concerns and areas of sensitivity between Muslims and Christians,” added Muneeb Nasir, Muslim Co-Chair of NMCLC. “Member denominations and organizations of NMCLC share a vision that Christians and Muslims realize the full potential of our relationship – that we appreciate, respect, support and understand each other – leading to the betterment of our society.”

The evening’s proceedings were guided by Master of Ceremonies, Shaila Kibria Carter, Interfaith Specialist, Islamic Relief Canada, and the panel discussion was moderated by The Rev. Canon Dr. Scott Sharman, Animator for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Anglican Church of Canada.

The panelist included Ustadh Ibrahim J. Long Youth Mental Health Lead & Chaplain, Islamic Family & Social Services Association; Pastor Peter Noteboom General Secretary, Canadian Council of Churches and Co-Chair, Canadian Interfaith Conversation; and Maduba Ahmad, Co-Founder & Project Lead, Good Neighbour Project.

The three panelists took part in an engaging discussion on developing inclusive communities while living out their faith in a multicultural society.