By Harnoor Gill
Friday, May 20, 2016 9:00 am ·  0 Comments
The events of 9/11 certainly shook the world and helped the world to realize how interfaith dialogue is a critical component for the maintenance of international stability. It is no longer justifiable for people to remain ignorant of other religions as no faith has a monopoly on truths. It’s important for us to understand that all religions are not the same and interfaith dialogue allows us to learn about those faiths which are different from our own.
This is a great way of strengthening our own faith by explaining it to someone outside of it. It’s amazing to see the similarities within different faiths about the creation of the world, the values essential to living a good life and other themes. Embarking on Interfaith dialogue with a positive attitude instead of a negative one is the best way to uncover the catalyst needed for peaceful change.
The Interfaith Council of Halton (ICH) was formed in Oakville shortly after 9/11. The main purpose behind the formation of this group is to educate the public about the diverse faiths within the region. Faith leaders took the initiative to learn more about each other as well as to develop more relationships among faith groups.
A great way to promote this cause of understanding other’s faiths is learning about the values behind a faith. Often the general public is misled by news broadcasts, so the Council decided that a great way to promote understanding was by holding an Interfaith Peace Walk this past Sunday on May 15th, 2016 in order to help educate people about other religions and promote peace amongst people from every background.
I recently joined the Interfaith Council of Halton to represent both the Sikh faith and the perspective of youth at future events. I participated in the planning of the Interfaith Peace Walk during its final stages and I can definitely vouch for it being a valuable experience. I felt that the Interfaith Peace Walk was a success because it drew attention to the successful settlement of refugees and newcomers to Canada. In response to the Syrian crisis, faith groups across Halton region have come together to address the needs of Syrian refugees.
Some of these families are residing in Oakville, and were sponsored through community support. With the success of this year’s walk the Council hopes to repeat it next year. Participants definitely gained a greater appreciation for the diversity Halton has to offer. Despite the weather, including hail, heads turned around in Oakville as people saw what was going on and went out of their way to show their support. At the end of the day it’s important to demonstrate that regardless of your religious background, people should stand and work together for the greater good of peace.