By Denis Cox Emuria
Monsignor Father Wynand Katende of Kampala Archdiocese, has called upon people to relate well with one another regardless of one’s religious affiliation.
Fr Katende made the call during celebrations to mark the World Interfaith Harmony Week held Friday Feb 3, 2012, at the premises of Nile Dialogue Platform in Muyenga Kampala.NDP is an NGO that is managed by Ugandans and Turks who have been inspired by Fethullah Gullens role in interfaith dialogue.
The Interfaith Harmony Week is meant to be marked every 1st week of February.
The Interfaith week was launched by the UN in Feb. 1, 2011. The week is supposed to be marked with a range of activities some of which include: talks featuring the actual participation of civil society, UN entities, intergovernmental organizations breakfasts/ dinners and film shows among others.
Fr Katende noted that if the human race related well, as brothers and sisters, there would be no conflict in society.
He said that as long as people fight another, there will be no peace.
He however regretted the fact that we seem to adore one God in theory, when in reality everyone thinks his or her God is the supreme.
Fr Katende cited an example where Muslims, Christians, and Jews each think in worshipping a different God.
He added, “It is because of hyping of each one’s God that we are eluded by peace.”
He added that it is better to embrace peace such that we can live together in harmony.
He however thanked the Turkish community in Uganda for their tireless effort towards making all people live in harmony despite the diversity in religion.
Dr Deus Nkurunzinza, a don at Makerere University who was one of the key presenters, said that one of the challenges facing society today is the failure to realize that a family is a symbol of peace.
Dr Nkurunzinza who is also a catholic priest added that there is need for peace since the world has become a global village, thus people taking up business seriously.
Citing example from ‘walk to work,’ phenomenon, in the country, he noted that the challenge is on how to do business while at the same time promoting peace.
He urged Ugandans to do business which promotes peace in our communities.
During the recent walk to work campaigns, many Ugandans lost lives and property due to violence that was uncalled for.
Dr Anas Kaliisa, said at the closure of the occasion that it is imperative to maintain interfaith dialogue if we are to eradicate conflict. He continued to say that fighting has no role in creating peace and harmony in society.
He added that Fethulah Gullen’s ideas are good because with violence we cannot co-exist.
He noted that Gullen tells us that people should strive for values of love and peace because the human race is equal before God.
Fethulah Gullen is a renowned Muslim scholar who has concentrated on enhancing dialogue and peace among sections representing different ideology, culture, religions and nations..
Hajji Ibrahim Katende, also a lecturer at Makerere, said that through education, people can fight poverty, since it is the one that causes conflict
By Denis Cox Emuria