abc compass: world parliament of religion -melbourne

Originally uploaded by Paul Trafford

had no idea this inter-faith dialogue forum was on in melbourne or else i would’ve flown there. should start watching abc more!

i didn’t even know there was such a thing as a world parliament for religion…its definitely a better idea than the existence of the eu or even the united nations because it connects every individual with another rather than just leaders of a majority of people in a country who bothered to vote or chosen because someone of a higher authority did their job better than they could ever do…

i certainly think this event should get more exposure, especially within our muslim community, because there are just not enough of us voicing out our more moderate, proper stance towards islam and especially for those persons who only stick to their own kind (which are plenty in any community) -a little awakening to other worldviews, beliefs won’t hurt, only enhances…

its not because you think islam is any lesser and you want to try out all the others but because you’re confident and happy where you are that you don’t mind exploring beyond the knowns to greater appreciate your own beliefs and how the world works…

abc hasn’t put up transcripts to this forum or a video but i hope they do because even though there was a muslim representative there -dr suhair alqurashi, the dude next to her, anthony padovano -a catholic theologian, made more sense, in explaining issues for example of identity when the minaret ban in switzerland issue came up. the way he said it was when you don’t know who you are and along comes a certain group who do, its natural to feel threatened. people weren’t just freaked out over 4 minarets over the whole of switzerland but the idea the shariah might creep in and overrun their system/way of life.

they also touched issues on fundamentalism in all faiths…how why is that only the totalitarians get covered in the media -is made a norm, and those who come together in peace for these inter-faith dialogues are a rarity…and the theologian replied along the lines of if someone had any love for their faith, they wouldn’t go to such extremes, you would want others have what you want for yourself. he gave an analogy -people use religion as a weapon for their ulterior motives…if a husband loved his wife -he would never use his hand on her…if he does hit his wife and use religion to somehow defend his action then there was no marriage to begin with…(a lightbulb moment!)

suhair did mention how stigmatised muslims were after september 11 and that its not fair that everyone should be blamed because of just a few but that was it…there wasn’t anything from her that really got you thinking apart from when she pointed out how its best we sort out our problems in our day and age and impose these on the youth/future generations.

tim costello -head of world vision, christian priest and brother of ex-liberal finance minister peter costello (who i hate), pointed out how australia seems to have this profound fear with people arriving by boats, like another invasion is likely to happen when they touched on the current asylum issue especially with those fleeing tamil sri lankans, yet they don’t have a fear for those who come by planes…(and there are so many who overstay by plane)

i think it was the rabbi or it could be the theologian who quoted how people think the arrival of new people, civilizations would end noble humanitarian values but each one from the greeks to the romans, from the east europeans who had made their way to america to the latinos to the asians -all kept these values in tact and it was tim costello who said because the world has become more inter-connected, inter-twined -the h1n1 and world financial crisis couldn’t prove this more evident, then there should be a global ethics on how to deal with one another, the diversity. i agree!

this event reminded me of my days in notre dame -a private catholic uni that i use to go to. even though there were quite a handful of muslims who attended this uni and i did have to study theology as one of those pre requisites in first year, i really enjoyed the inter-faith discussions i had with my peers, even with my priest lecturers. its true when it says in the quraan how christians are more closer to you than the jews, its because of the love aspect, how much they service others in order to serve God. its so similar to islam. there were times when i forgot they were christians because of this. ahhhh freo!!!

anyways, here’s snippets of what usually goes on in this gathering

~ by nursheikha on December 14, 2009.

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