National Interfaith Dialogue Fosters Inclusive, Anti-Racist Faith Communities

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Canadian Christians and Muslims recently engaged in an online dialogue on fostering inclusive and anti-racist faith communities in the country.    

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The forum, held on February 3rd, was the annual event of the National Muslim Christian Liaison Committee (NMCLC) to celebrate World Interfaith Harmony Week which, this year was themed, “Extending Our Embrace.”

A few hundred people from across the country, as well as a few from the US and around the world, joined the conversation on several social media platforms.

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Master of Ceremonies of the event was Rev. Daniel Cho, Past Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada and the panel discussion was moderated by the Most Rev. Wayne Kirkpatrick, Bishop – Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish.

The panelists were Imam Michael Taylor, Regional Chaplain – Ontario of Correctional Service Canada; Sarah Guinta, Coordinator – Office of Justice and Peace, Roman Catholic Diocese of Hamilton; and Zarfishan Qureshi, Chaplaincy Intern – Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Toronto.

“Tonight’s virtual panel discussion is cosponsored by the Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Toronto and the Intercultural Dialogue Institute-GTA Chapter,” said Reverend Tuula Van Gaasbeek, Christian Co-Chair of NMCLC, in her welcoming remarks.

“This event is also part of the annual World Interfaith Harmony Week.”

“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.”

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Interfaith Mission

Muneeb Nasir, Muslim Co-Chair of NMCLC, in his remarks spoke of the mission of the long-standing interfaith committee.

“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.”

“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,” he added.

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