Peace on Earth and goodwill toward all people.
That might be a common phrase in a Christmas carol, but one many at Coun. Peter Silveira’s third annual Barrie Interfaith Breakfast today would sing as well.
With the message “Bring people together to build understanding and peace”, Umar Akbar, a missionary from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in York Region, stressed we need to focus on what we agree on — that people of all faiths are children of God — rather than their differences.
“All people belong to Him who’s not only the Lord of the Christians, Jews or Muslims. He’s not my property or your property. We should all come together,” he said.
“Why should be go toward those things that we disagree upon? Why not start where we agree — a belief in God? We can all come together on the fact we’re all God’s children regardless of which country or what religion we come from.”
He commented that Canadians are a very tolerant, inclusive people, and said he was proud of the citizens in Cold Lake, Alberta, who worked to clean up words of hate spray-painted on a mosque.
“They cleaned it up and said (to those who attend the mosque), ‘You are home’,” said Akbar.
He encouraged the group of about 50 to advocate for justice.
“Whether we’re Muslim, Christian or Jewish or have no faith, there’s nothing preventing us from coming together for the good of mankind. The walls we’ve built must be broken,” he said.
“Where injustice occurs, there can never be peace. Richer nations should take care of poorer nations. If certain nations or industries would rather waste food to control prices rather than send it abroad, that’s a very eye-opening experience. That’s not justice.
“We should look at ways we’re acting towards justice. By establishing true justice on earth, we will establish true peace.”
Local Ahmadiyya Muslims travel to Vaughan for worship and fellowship, but they also gather in homes. For more information, contact community president Ajmal Noushahi at 705-795-9581.