Interfaith week aims to ease tensions

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KUALA LUMPUR: The objective of the United Nations Interfaith Har­mony Week is to turn the tide against the inter-religious tension, mistrust, dislike and hatred in the world.

Ambassador of Jordan, Maher Ahmad Lukasha, said the language of the UN resolution – initiated by King Abdullah II of Jordan in September last year – excluded no one, of any religion or of no faith.

He said this at a roundtable discussion among 80 participants at the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) on “Celebrating Well the UN Interfaith Harmony Week” here yesterday.

To questions on how to put into action what looked good on paper, IAIS deputy chief executive officer Emeritus Prof Datuk Dr Osman Bakar replied: “We need dialogue to take root first. So many people here are even against dialogue,” he added.

Rev Thomas George, a participant, said the problem arose when people kept their religion rather than God and human beings at the centre.

His suggestion that people should look at others as not those of another faith but as human beings was echoed by Iais CEO Prof Hashim Kamali who said: “Concentrate on the person, not the faith of the person.”

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