Interfaith Works: A perspective on Success
In a world where conflict seems to be increasing – the conference shone a light and a positive vision on religions working together
Sir Stephen Timms, MP hosted an event in Parliament, organised by the All Faiths Network and Minhaj Welfare Foundation[i], which gave the perspective of different speakers who demonstrated that interfaith works and is a positive influence in society. They told the attendees that faiths and interfaith organisations can not only contribute to improving social conditions and giving support to communities but also provide a space for conflict to be resolved.
A panel of experts, all having years of experience in the field of interfaith, gave their own different perspectives on this.
Sir Stephen Timms, who is a great supporter of interfaith initiatives, opened the event and welcomed the 80-plus attendees from many different religions, packed into one of the Parliament’s Committee rooms, and explained how his own long career in Parliament started with the support of people of different faiths. He also explained that this event was appropriately being held during UK’s Inter Faith Week which, under the leadership of the UK Interfaith Network is coordinating hundreds of events around the UK in order to highlight and encourage positive interfaith experience.
Martin Weightman, Director of the All Faiths Network, gave an overview of the conference, setting the scene against the discord we can see in some sections of society and the world, whilst outlining the positive that interfaith relations can bring to resolve these issues. After the event he said, “This was a wonderful panel of speakers who approached interfaith from different angles. Academic research and implementation; on-the-ground examples of how interfaith works and how religions can work together; religions helping the wider community beyond their own members and the sharing of faith backgrounds, cultures and arts to bring about greater understanding and help to resolve conflict.” He continued, “There is no doubt in my mind that together we can create a better society and more constructive communities throughout the world if only we use the tools available to us through interfaith activities and have the will to do so.”
Adnan Sohail, Director of Operations of the Minhaj Welfare Foundation, co-organiser of the event, said, “Faith based organisations play an important role in our societies, especially in their service to humanity because they go beyond religion, colour or creed, helping provide a better life for those living in poverty.”
The speakers were Dr. Elizabeth Phillips, Director of Education and Engagement at the Woolfe Instutue; Mustapha Field, Director of Faiths Forum 4 London; Esmond Rosen, President and Trustee of Barnet Multifaith Forum; Deepak Naik EU Trustee for United Religions Initiative; Neneng Yanti, English for Uluma and Dr. Desra Percaya, Indonesian Ambassador to the UK.
The conference was also honoured with a delegation of 5 Imams and 10 government officials from Indonesia who are on a one-week tour of the UK seeking to understand how UK deals with it’s own interfaith issues and hoping to take back with them successful models they can use.
[i] In partnership with British Embassy Jakarta and British Council with support of Nottingham University
For further information please contact
All Faiths Network, Martin Weightman : +44 759 56 59 052 email@example.com or
Minhaj Welfare Foundation, Ayman Anwar : +44 7875 752923 Ayman.firstname.lastname@example.org