Jan 14, 2011, 1:07 PM
By Side Organisation yesterday held its fourth annual international inter-faith
dialogue on the theme ‘Strengthening relationship inter-faith dialogue’.
Held at TANGO conference hall in Fajara, the forum witnessed presentation on ‘Muslim perspective on strengthening interfaith relations’ by deputy vice chancellor of the University of The Gambia, Dr Omar Jah Jr. On the other hand, Father David Jimoh Jarju, head of the Catholics in The Gambia, spoke on ‘Christian perspective on strengthening interfaith relations’.
In his presentation, Dr Jah said Islam, in its root, means peace. The word Islam, he said, is derived from the word Salam which means peace.
“Islam is a universal mercy, universal peace and universal reason. Islam epitomises a state of the highest form of human rationale and it is because of this nature that it is inherently against anything that lead to disturbance insecurity, anarchy or chaos,” he said, adding that Prophet Muhammed is reported to have said ‘Al-fitnah’ (social unrest) is sleeping and Allah curses whoever wakes it up.
For his part, Father Jarju said one needs not to read books to see that “there is inherent interfaith dialogue of life in The Gambia”.
“Christians and Muslims intermarry; during celebrations of landmark events in life and feasts, hardly can one differentiate between Christians and Muslims, and social areas like schools and political parties include both faiths,” he said.
SBSO National Coordinator Hatab Fadera said the organisation is committed to the promotion of peace and harmony among people of different faith, background, race and ethnicity.
He said the inter-faith dialogue forum was a key element of the three-week international summer of service organised by the Gambia Project in partnership with SBSO.
He said the international summer of service is an annual undertaking by volunteers from the USA and The Gambia who dedicate three weeks of volunteering services to all sectors of The Gambia.
Mr Fadera explained that during the summer of service, volunteers engage in different activities such as environmental sanitation, sustainable skills development, community services, among other things.