Building Better Bridges in Barrie, Ontario-6
Mayor Jeff Lehman opened the 1st Annual Interfaith Symposium on December 18, 2015 held at the Army Navy & Air Force Centre in Barrie, Ontario. The symposium was hosted by Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Canada.
Mayor Lehman shared his recent experiences of interfaith harmony in the city of Barrie. Mayor shared that over the last few months the city of Barrie has embraced more than 150 refugee families from Syria. These families have been sponsored by groups from all faiths.
Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Canada, through their charity organization Humanity First has so far sponsored more than 600 families from Syria around GTA. https://humanityfirst.ca/projects/2015-12-08-05-12-40/syrian-refugees-resettlement
Speakers from various faiths presented perspective of their faith on world peace. Included among them were: Gen Kelsang Suma from Jampa Ling Kadampa Buddhist Centre, Rev. Ann Krueger from Westside Evan. Lutheran Church, Barrie, Rochelle Basil-Masic from Am Shalom Synagogue, Barrie, Shawn P. Conroy from Humanists, atheists and agnostics, Heidi Minuti from Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, Davinder Singh Dhanoa from Sikh Faith and Govardhan Tanejafrom Sant Nirankari Mission of Hinduism. Missionary Farhan Iqbal from Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat explained Islamic principles of world peace. (Reference:http://www.alislam.org/library/books/World-Crisis-and-Pathway-to-Peace.pdf
A stall of Je Suis Hijabi/ I am a Hijabi Campaign was also set to give a Hijab experience to those who wished to try on. This booth was part of a National Campaign held across Canada by Ahmadiyya Muslim Women Association of Canada. In view of recent attacks on Muslim women wearing Hijab/Niqab, the campaign aims to educate fellow Canadians that Hijab is part of Muslim women dress and it does not alter their ability to work, think or perform in various spheres of life. Muslim women choose to wear Hijab or Niqab as a personal choice and it is not a sign of oppression. So far more than 200 events have taken place in various cities of Canada.
Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat is a worldwide revivalist movement within Islam with millions followers in more than 200 countries. http://www.alislam.org/