Sharing our Hopes for Australia in a new Millenium
As aMuslim, these are my hopes for the new Millenium
Message prepared and delivered by:
For and on behalf of the Islamic Council of New South Wales
On the occasion of:
Meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Committee
for Ecumenical and Inter-Faith Relations
Leaders of other Faiths
St Scholastica's Conference Centre
24 August 1999
In the name of Allah the Source of All Mercy the All Merciful
As a Muslim, these are my hopes for the New Millenium
Before I express my hopes as a Muslim, I would like to say that I am encouraged by the words of Bishop Michael Putney and his holiness the pope's commitment to acknowledging past wrongs of the church.
As a Muslim, my hopes for the new Millenium are:
1 - That we, the people of faith, agree to mutual terms and unite in the sincere service and devotion to God alone.
Our invitation will remain forever open:
"People of the Scriptures: Let us come to mutually agreeable terms between us and you; that we only devote ourselves to God, and that we will not compromise this devotion by associating any partners to Him ..." (The Holy Qur`an 3:64)
2 - That through our service and devotion to God, we work together to develop and introduce positive reforms to rebuild the moral fabric and restore the spiritual awareness of all Australians.
3 - That we work to realise God's plan with respect to our diversity, that we all get to know one another and to live together in friendship and harmony.
"Amongst His signs are the creation of the Heavens and the Earth and the diversity of your languages and colours, in that are indeed signs for those who know." (The Holy Qur`an 30:22)
"People, We created you from a male and a female and made you nations and tribes so that you may get to know one another, indeed, the most noble amongst you with God is the most conscious of God, and God is certainly Knowing and Expert." (The Holy Qur`an 49:13)
4 - That we all direct our energies to stem the increasing secular trend in our community. We have to all appreciate, that media misrepresentations of the dogmas of any religion undermines all religion with the general public.
5 - That we together work on the premise that our common enemy is Satan and that our mutual cooperation is devotion to the higher principles and this alone can give us success in our purpose.
"Satan is to humanity, an open enemy." (The Holy Qur`an 12:5)
"Indeed, Satan is your enemy, so treat him as an enemy." (The Holy Qur`an 35;6).
6 - That we aim for more high level interfaith activities where our points of agreement as well as our differences can be discussed in an open forum amongst believers in the One God in a spirit of human brotherhood that stems from the realisation that we are all sharing the same reality, and that we all share the same father, Adam and the same mother, Eve.
"You are all to Adam and Adam was created from earth." (Holy Hadith)
I would like to conclude my comments by repeating my first hope, that we, the people of faith, agree to mutual terms and unite in the sincere service and devotion to God alone..
I reiterate: "People of principles: let us come to mutually agreeable terms between us and you; that we only devote ourselves to God, and that we will not compromise this devotion by associating partners to him."
This invitation will remain open for as long as there are Muslims on this planet who have understanding of our faith.
Composed and delivered by Keysar Trad
For and on behalf of the Islamic Council of New South Wales.
Below is my suggestion as it was made to my table colleagues during discussions that were held after the above address:
That public interfaith forums are organised at public venues where representatives of different faiths can express aspects of their faiths in a non confrontational manner. It is suggested that if the speaker intends to raise issues with respect to the other faith, that these issues are raised with the representative of the other faith prior to the dialogue so that any factual inaccuracies can be corrected prior to the forum. I am not suggesting that we do not discuss our differences, I am suggesting that if we raise differences, that the correct differences are raised and not just personal perceptions that may be incorrect.