Interview on “Sunday Morning with Ricky Ross” with young people participating into the Stepping into Diversity project in partnership with West of Scotland Regional Equality Council. Originally broadcast on Sunday 24th of November 2013 on BBC Radio Scotland
Learn more about the Stepping into Diversity Project on http://interfaithglasgow.org/youth/
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.
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.
Tonight people from a variety of faith and belief traditions came together to listen and discus how to challenge poverty. Interfaith Glasgow’s Faith and Poverty event was borne out of a desire from the St Mary’s Justice and Aid Network to bring faith communities and anti-poverty groups together and to learn what each other does and to start a discussion about what we can do together. So with the support of St Mary’s and people from the local Muslim community Interfaith Glasgow was able to put on this event for Interfaith Week not as an event just to celebrate interfaith activity but to actually bring people together to talk and start thinking about where faith and belief communities and go from here in the fight against poverty.
The event was very well attended and we were delighted to receive a civic welcome from Bailie Scanlon, to have Hanzala Malik MSP convene our event and to also have speeches from Morag Gillispie (Scottish Poverty Information UNit), Kathy Galloway (Christian Aid Scotland), Venerable Rewatha (Therevada Buddhist Vihara), Dr Rizi Mohammed and Charandeep Singh and Ravindar Kaur Nijjar (Glasgow Gurdwara). Our thanks also goes to the organisations and projects who shared their own experience and hosted discussion groups including Poverty Truth Commission, Faith in Community Scotland Transformation Team, Passage to India, Jewish Care Scotland, West of Scotland Regional Equality Council and Glasgow Central Mosque (Qurbani Project), Glasgow City Mission, Salvation Army, Glasgow Gurdwara, Kagyu Samye Dzong and Cafe Simon. Thanks also goes to Rev Cedric Blakey, Vice Provost of St Mary’s Episcopalian Cathedral (Glasgow) for his support and vote of thanks. Interfaith Glasgow is looking forward to looking at the evaluation forms as verbal feedback was really positive at the end of the event so we are looking forward to learning what attendants thought but also to understand how we can support this interfaith approach to challenging poverty.
Interfaith Glasgow was delighted to be asked to speak at the formal opening of the new University of Strathclyde Chaplaincy Centre. This is a wonderful new opportunity that is open to all students and staff regardless of faith background to use a social, reflection and dialogue area. We especially like the sacred space area and look forward to watching the centre develop and it is used buy students from all backgrounds. In particular congratulations to the University of Strathclyde Chaplain Rev David T Young for his hard work to make today happen. Check out their webpage here University of Strathclyde Chaplaincy Centre
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.
Interfaith Glasgow’s first event of Interfaith Week was the showing of the Imam and the Pastor at the African Caribbean Centre Glasgow. This film tells the story of two men (one Muslim and one Christian) living in Northern Nigeria and how their own experience of inter-religious conflict has brought them together to counsel others away from religious violence. This event was attended by 15 people and provoked some thought provoking discussion at the end including where does a message ‘like this’ go from one country to another and also a request ti show the film to the Gambian community in Scotland. The African Caribbean Centre was really welcoming and a big thank you to Chief, Graham, Harriette and Anne for all of their help