“We have to demolish the wall of hatred and prejudice and built the bridge of love, respect, tolerance and harmony in the society” said Imam Nasir.
Report by: Mashhood Mirza Chicago
The interfaith outreach committee of Congregation ETZ Chaim, Lombard, IL, Hosted a very productive and interactive interfaith event in their Synagogue on the evening of September 7th, 2017. It was a one hour and 30 min duration program under the topic of “Religion and Compassion in the 21st Century”.
With the view to engage all the participants in the discussion each table from the audience groups were given two questions. A few representatives of the participants presented the essence of their discussion about each question.
The two given questions were:
1- How do we treat people who differ from us?
2- What do you want your reaction and your institution’s response to be to hate in the community?
There was also a penal of four religious leaders representing the three major religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam, they were:
1- Rabi Ricky Kamil from Congregating ETZ Chaim.
2- Reverend Myriam Renaud from DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church.
3- Dr. Ali, the faith advisor from Benedictine University, representing Islam.
4- Pastor Jeanne Davies Parables Community.
After listening the audience’s point of view through their representatives, All the four leaders presented each of their religion’s teachings and perspective on each given question, with the references from their respective Holy Scriptures. They explained, what are the teachings of their religions about being compassionate among the fellow human beings and how we can contribute to make the world a beautiful place to live where every single individual could enjoy living with peace, love, respect and dignity, if we follow the beautiful teachings of compassion provided by our respective religions.
Everybody enjoyed the proceedings of the program while having refreshments on their tables. No doubt the Hospitality team of the Synagogue did a wonderful job in presenting and arranging the refreshment with abundant of delicious treats served with coffee and tea.
Before concluding the program, The Moderator Mr. Paul Heinz invited Imam Shamshad of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Baitul Jamey Mosque, Glen Ellyn. Imam Shamshad who served in this area for his community as a Missionary and Imam for more than three years in this region, now posted to Detroit MI.Imam Shamshad then expressed his feelings about tonight’s program and about his overall experience during his time he spent here with the local religious communities and their leaders.
Imam Shamshad paid his gratitude and thanked to all for their cooperation, respect and understanding. He said: “Almost all the religions presented beautiful teachings of Love, Respect and Compassion but unfortunately we are lacking in acting upon it, we don’t walk what we talk.
Teachings of love and compassion are there in ‘Torah’ since more than three thousand years. Similar teachings are still there in New Testaments since more than two thousand years and in Holy Quran since more than 1400 years, how much more time we need to comply with and act upon these teachings? Are these teachings only to be read and to be proud of,for the time being and then forget about them after closing the books? No, instead they were given to us by Almighty God so that we practically live our lives in accordance to these teachings but see what is going around all over the world. How the innocent people are being killed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Burma and other places by the same people who are proud to have these wonderful teachings of Love and compassion in their books”.
Imam Shamshad diverted the attention of all the participants that the real need of the time is not just to be proud of having wonderful teachings in the books but to walk your talk and show these wonderful teaching by your actions”
In the last Imam shamshad thanked everybody for their love and cooperation he received from the religious communities of Glen Ellyn area and its surroundings during his stay here in last three and half years. He said the good memories of all the friends here will always remain with him.
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