01 November 2012

THE SUN DAILY: Perlis forum to promote interfaith understanding

Michelle Chun

PETALING JAYA (Oct 30, 2012): The Perlis Al Islah Association is organising an interfaith forum on Saturday to create a platform for various religious organisations to discuss interaction among different religions with the hope of creating a better understanding amomg them.

The Gateway to Interfaith Goodwill (Gema) 2012, organised in collaboration with the Islamic Council of Perlis and Perlis Malay Customs Council, will see representatives from Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taosim gathered in Mata Ayer for the discussion.

A total of 17 religious organisations and houses of worship will be represented at the half-day forum, which will be graced by the Raja Muda of Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail.

Gema 2012 organising chairman Dr Hazman Hassan said it is hoped that through the forum, a platform can be created for the discussion of interfaith issues.

"The forum is a primary step as it is something new in largely conservative Perlis, hence the name 'gateway' or 'portal'.

"Let's be positive about it and with the support of the palace we hope we can allow room for discussion on issues, especially in Perlis," he said.

Hazman said the forum aimed to help people differentiate local issues from national and even international ones.

"We want locals to know that even though many people may be hurting one another or engaging in violence due to religious conflict, it is not happening in Perlis.

"We want people to address their neighbours as people, and not relate them to events that may be happening thousands of miles away," he said, adding that a general guide on interaction among faiths known as the FAIZ Initiative will also be launched by the Raja Muda at the forum.

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