Let’s set aside the differences that we have as religious people; our different beliefs and way of doing things should not be a barrier between people. This was the key message delivered to a group of Khayelitsha residents when the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamat held a peace symposium at Hopolanga Primary School in Khayelitsha on Saturday June 30.
Under the theme “Unity in Diversity – A Journey towards Peace”, the event was aimed at strengthening the ideals of peace and justice.
But most importantly, the event strived to preach the spirit of cohesion, care and love among the different religious groups.
Regional president of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jam’at, Rayaan Dilam, said they wanted to emphasise the importance of harmony among different religious groups and organisations.
He said they discovered that religious intolerance was on the rise.
This, he said, was mainly caused by the many misunderstandings people had about each another.
However, Mr Dilam highlighted that ignorance was another key factor that caused the intolerance between the various religious groups.
He said this event strives to promote tolerance and accept other people’s beliefs and way of doing things.
He said intolerance and the failure to accept other people’s views had led to many fights and even wars over things that could had been avoided.
“We should come together in a harmonious and loving way to prevent this issue of intolerance. We should meet one another and start looking at the common things that we have instead of looking at our differences. We will always have differences and that is human nature but we should never allow them to divide us” he said.
Mr Dilam said they have started educational programmes in Khayelitsha and a vegetable garden at a church in the area.
Asked about long-term plans, he said they want to bring education in the township whereby they recruit tutors to come assist pupils with their studies, particularly in maths and science.
He said they were planing to conduct free medical clinics and have recently held one in Langa.
Mr Dilam said it was crucial that they extend a helping hand even though they knew that it was a drop in the ocean.
He said it was only through helping one another that they could make the future of this country an inspiring one.
National president of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamat, Mansow Tahir, said God created people of different colours and they should not allow this to be a barrier from living together.
He said diversity should be used to motivate people to unite and know each other better.
He said this was the time to unite as people of South Africa and work together for a common goal of making the future better.
Mr Tahir said it was critical that they learn other people’s cultures and beliefs so that they could build strong bonds and relationships.