An Interfaith Dialogue was held at UMT where think tanks from the United States associated with US-Pakistan Interreligious Consortium (UPIC); a global forum that promotes positive dialogue among scholars of different religions gathered and shared their views with their Pakistani counterparts on how to reduce political, social and cultural tensions between the two countries, maintain peace and harmony among religions, and highlight similarities rather than differences of the religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which share Abrahamic mosaic.
Addressing the forum, Rector UMT Dr Hasan Sohaib Murad said that he liked President Obama’s positive attitude towards Muslim Community and other minorities living in the USA. “In all honesty, people of all religions and ethnic backgrounds give respect to one another’s’ faiths and want to live peacefully on their occupied places, it is political splitting up that divides them into different nations otherwise all are equal in the eyes of law and God and all year to come closer to understand humanity for the sake of humanity”, said Dr Murad. He emphasized that we as the members of global diversified society needed to engage in cruises not in crusades and this was the solution of religious problems and moving to the future. He further said that God created us as humankind and the Holy Quran encouraged us to engage in a positive dialogue with one another so that all are understood and no doubt was left.
Referring to his foreign visits such as USA, Dr Murad said that he found US people honest, principled, and showing great sense of humanity and friendship for the people of other nationalities and races. The Rector said that misconceptions were growing up between the Muslim World and the West while in reality it was not the case at all, people were widening their society of global village and Islam, Christianity and Judaism were coming nearer to one another promoting peace and harmony.
The US delegation included Rev. Bob Chase (Founding Director of Intersections International), Christina Tasca (Executive Director of the Muslim Community Network in New York City), Rabbi Dr Reuven Firestone while their Pakistani counterparts Prof Dr Munawar A Anees, Dr. Akram Chaudhry and Dr. Uzma Rashid stood opposite to them.
Leaving aside political differences of both the countries, the religious leaders from both the countries strongly stressed that in order to promote peace and harmony in the world and unite dissimilar people on mutual grounds of interest, the robust dialogue was need of the hour, without which the issue of extremism, terrorism, fundamentalism and Islamphobia could not be addressed very well.
The speakers were of view that it was high time for the people of different religions to come closer to one another, speak the truth and dispel conceptions about humanity that was the focal point of address of all sacred faiths. The Round Table concluded with a promise that the foreign delegation would share the real Pakistani story to US folks and an announcement was made that such a dialogue would continue and an international conference would be held next year in UMT covering all aspects of the comprehensive dialogue.