As part of the ongoing events around interfaith week Masjid Al-Furqan hosted an interfaith dialogue session at their community hall in Carrington Street. Guests speakers Shaykh Sohaib Saeed and Rev Cedric Blakey gave their Muslim and Christian perspectives on the the theme of the evening “My Faith my compass” and shared with the assembled audience aspects of their own faith and how this provides guidance and support in their own lives. The speeches were followed by a lively question and answer session which showed not only an interest in dialogue but also the need for ongoing meetings and dialogues to ensure that people are getting the opportunity to engage with each other and ask questions both from faith and no-faith perspectives. Interfaith Glasgow congratulates Masjid Al-Furqan for organising this event and for creating this space for interfaith dialogue and discussion.
During this week Interfaith Glasgow has been sharing its interfaith week experience but it is not just us who are supporting interfaith work in Glasgow there have been loads of other events this week, here are a few
On Sunday (24th) the Muslim Christian Couples Scotland held a social gathering for Muslim Christian families in the Glasgow area
On Sunday (24th) Interfaith Scotland’s Development Officer, Frances Hume, delivered an interfaith address to the congregation at Gorbals Parish Church
On Monday (25th) and Thursday (28th) West of Scotland Regional Equality Council ran guided heritage walks around 6 different places of worship in the West End of Glasgow (www.wsrec.co.uk)
On Wednesday (27th) the Ignatian Spirituality Centre, in partnership with the Bishop’s Committee for Interreligious Dialogue, hosted a talk on Islam delivered by Fariha Thomas. This was part of series of talks which are being delivered over 2013/14
On Thursday (28th) a lecture “Conflict, Toleration, Appreciation and Transformation – Four Modes of Interreligious Relations” was delivered by Prof. Perry Schmidt-Leukel (Muenster University) at the University of Glasgow
Throughout the week Inner Space has provided guided mediation sessions at their centre http://www.innerspace.org/glasgow/
There is still more to come. Tonight (Friday) at 7.30pm at the Masjid Al-furqan there will be talk from a Muslim and Christian on “My Faith my compass” and on Saturday (30th) the Glasgow Peace Federation will be running at women’s event at 39 Napiershall Street, Glasgow. For more details please visit http://interfaithglasgow.org/scottish-interfaith-week-2013/
As part of our Interfaith Week programme Interfaith Glasgow was featured on the Juma programme (English on AwazFM today hosted by Shoket Aksi. AwazFM is a community radio station based in the south-side of Glasgow which delivers a range of programmes to the South Asian and African communities in the city. Thanks AwazFM for having us on. Tune in 107.2 or visit http://www.awazfm.co.uk
We are now more than half way through Scottish Interfaith Week in Glasgow and momentum has not slowed down yet. There has been such a diversity of events and dialogues which show the desire and also the continued need for interfaith opportunities. Today Interfaith Glasgow assisted the University of Strathclyde Chaplaincy Centre host it first event since it official opening the day before. The Interfaith Cafe which was a call to students and staff at the University to come together and talk about their experience of faith and belief and the shared values and principles held across faith and belief traditions. The new Chaplaincy Centre was looking great and with the help of Interfaith Scotland the room was decorated with artefacts and information from a variety of faith traditions. The discussion sessions which attracted 15 people from across the staff and student body were facilitated by members of the Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Sikh and Baha’i faiths and allowed a real opportunity for people of different faith and belief backgrounds to come together in dialogue regardless of background and we hope that this will be the beginning of continued opportunities for reflection and dialogue within this space. Congratulations goes to Rev David Young, Strathclyde University Chaplain, Naseem Anwar – Equality and Diversity Manager and thanks goes to Kellie Bracegirldle for all her help at this event and the people who took their time to facilitate and attend this event.
A big focus of interfaith is dialogue and a common misconception is that interfaith dialogue is only about the discussion of faith which does play a role but there are also other opportunties through dialogue that bring people of faith and belief together. This can include concern for a common issue, relationship building and also a shared experience that comes from being a person of faith or belief. Tomorrow Interfaith Glasgow in partnership with the Ishara Project at Deaf Connections in Glasgow will be holding a sharing and discussion session (followed by lunch, of course) where people from the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community will share with hearing people from a variety of faith backgrounds the barriers that people who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing face when they want to practice and evolve their faith and also examples of good practice where people have been able to become more involved i their faith because their needs have been recognised. I am thinking about tomorrow and wondering what will people share, will it be bad or will it be good and as always I ask myself now, the night before, is this truly interfaith because this event will be looking at different faiths and how they respond to the needs of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities. The answer I arrive that is yes it is in fact very interfaith not only from the presence of those involved but from the shared experience of having faith but finding barriers to practicing it and this is something that can be shared across the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community and I hope tomorrow that a frank and fruitful discussion takes us forward onto a future dialogue.