Sunday night gave us opportunity for about forty folk from the Uniting Church and the Muslim community to fellowship together over the meal that breaks the day’s fast in the Muslim celebration of Ramadan.
It’s called an Iftar dinner, hosted by the Synod Interfaith Relations Committee with the 2018 event the second time the dinner has been hosted.
It is a wonderful opportunity to send a message of hospitality and welcome, and also to sit and share the journey with women and men leaders in the Muslim community.
Janeeth Deen of the Queensland Muslim Historical Society’s was in attendance, recording the diverse history of the Muslim community in Queensland.
There’s little vignettes that are fascinating, like the Muslim Royal Australian Air Force pilot who served in World War 2 with the Royal Air Force. He was a lad from Mount Gravatt, the son of Afghan cameleers. His life and sacrifice is remembered in a small French village, because he diverted his plane from crashing into houses in the village.
The night also included a panel reflecting on how our faiths sustain and shape our lives.
Imam Uzair of the Holland Park mosque and I reflected on that conversation in the video below.
Understanding and overcoming distance and fear happens when we hear the stories of others and tell our stories.
This gives us the opportunity to build common ground and strengthen our communities.
I encourage you to experiment with ways to extend hospitality to those life gives us as neighbours.