The first event in the Interfaith Series planned in collaboration with Town North Presbyterian Church was held on Sunday October 19th. The program started at 5PM and was attended by around 175 people, with near equal participation from both sides.
This event was held at the Church Auditorium in Richardson, which was planned for brief speeches – one for Islam and the other for Christianity, followed by a formal Question and Answer session and a social time over some snacks.
The topic was “What does our faith says about persecution”. Imam Mubashir Ahmed presented Islam’s point of view, he mentioned that all prophets and their followers were persecuted but since God was on their side, they emerged victorious in the end, he also detailed the persecution of Holy Prophet (pbuh) and his followers and mentioned the persecution Jama’at is facing in Pakistan. Imam Ahmed argued that prayer is the best weapon against persecution, and prayers are to be due to both the persecutor and the persecuted alike. However Islam allows fighting in defense, to protect sanctity of life.
Pastor David Rogers presented the same topic from the Christian view points. He mentioned that it is Christian belief to expect persecution, as was Jesus Christ persecuted. Christians are the limbs of the body of which Jesus is the head and the pain will be suffered by all the members of the church. He stated that the Christian teaching to survive persecution is based on Sixth commandment, which focuses on the sanctity of life and hence Christians should retort to prayer than to fight back.
After the 20 minute speech by the Pastor, Question Answer session was held. Audience asked and listed to a lot of interesting questions and the response on both the faith’s points of view. Some of the questions were
- Shall we and how shall we counter persecution by ISIS?
- What is the punishment for blasphemy?
- How to understand Quran and it’s meaning?
- Did Prophet Muhammad order killing of 900 jews?
- Do Christianity allow taking weapons for self defense of for the protection of the family?
The QA session was extended into a longer one-one discussions during the snack time. The program ended at 7:30PM with a resolve that we will meet again for such events to be planned for better understanding between the communities.
See pictures and short video clips from the event here.
– Reported by Naseer Tahir, Sec. Outreach Programs.