Faith Leaders Gather to Discuss “Justice Through Compassion” in Niagara Falls
NIAGARA FALLS, NY (WIVB) — Faith leaders from across Western New York came together Saturday night to bridge the pre-existing divisions created between them.
Members of Masjid Mahdi at Niagara Falls hosted members of the Jewish, Hindu, Christian, Islamic and Sikh religions to discuss “justice through compassion”. A leader from each organization spoke of this phrase from the perspective of his faith.
Dr. Nasir Khan was the host of the event and said events like this are essential in bridging the differences between religions.
“We all want peace, but peace cannot be achieved without justice,” Dr Khan told News 4. “We are here to talk primarily about justice, but about justice in compassion.”
Imam Adnan Ahmed spoke at the event, giving his perspective based on Islamic teachings from the Quran. He said it’s important to host these kinds of discussions and forums, where people can realize that they have more similarities than differences.
“All religions come from God,” said Imam Ahmed. “That’s why the main lessons are essentially the same. We also wanted to show it to people. That we can break bread together and be kind and kind to each other.
As tensions between religions rise around the world, Dr Khan said he believes these types of events serve as a learning opportunity for all involved.
“That’s what America is. We have to embrace and learn from each other,” he added.
Even some of the younger guests wanted to know more about each other as they came together to be one. They said it was even more special because they couldn’t do it for two years amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I love how everyone from different religions can come here,” said Fahad Mandla of Niagara Falls.
“It’s much better. It’s like a return to normal,” Tamseel Tanweer added.
The gathering took place during Ramadan, which is a time of fasting, prayer and reflection in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. The gathering also took place a week before the start of the Jewish holiday of Passover, which celebrates the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt, and the Christian holiday of Easter, which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The leaders present at the meeting said that this discussion gave them hope for the future in order to build a better future.
“It creates hope for all of us. If members of different faiths can come together, why not different people from different backgrounds,” Imam Ahmed concluded.
The Masjid Mahdi Mosque looks forward to regular meetings like this where people from all walks of life can discuss their commonalities and differences. They plan to hold a similar event in July.