05 December, 2010

Tolerance & Inter-faith harmony can end Violence

Edited version published in Pakistan Observer on 3 Dec. 2010
Sana Jamal

ISLAMABAD: Through peace, tolerance and inter-faith harmony, we can put an end to violence and live peacefully. This consensus emerged at a seminar held at Nomad Gallery, Islamabad which was part of the 16 Days of Activism against gender violence 2010 campaign in Islamabad.
Nomad in collaboration with UNIFEM - Pakistan organized a seminar and art exhibition of 16 visual artists titled “We can end violence through Peace, Tolerance and Inter-faith harmony”.

The topic under discussion was “Understanding Peace and tolerance as reflected by Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Christianity and Islam.” Stressing the need for peace and interfaith harmony, Nageen Hyat, Director of Nomad said “through solidarity and integration, we can be stronger and contribute to a respected and humane nation.”

“Terrorism originated from wrong understanding, wrong perception, poverty and misuse of power. Now is the time we should participate to remove misunderstanding for transforming peace and harmony” said Ms. Esther Park, a poet, writer, research scholar of Gandhara Art Foundation.

Highlighting the idea of interfaith accord Ms. Park said “Gandhara is the best place in the world to bring peace and interfaith harmony because it is the only place in the world where people from different religion, culture, and customs lived side by side peacefully.” Though Gandhara is in Pakistan and Afghanistan but later it peacefully spread to China, Korea and Japan via silk route, she added.

The Exhibition of Paintings & Prints included the artwork of Nahid Raza, Mashkoor Raza, Farah Adnan, Anjum Ayub, Humera, N.H Kazmi, Tabassam Rizvi, Arjumand Awan,Riffat Khattak, Sumera Jawad, Ufaq Ehsan, Zia Zaidi, Maylene Rasmussan, Nadeem Ahmad, Nasreen Aurangzeb, Atiya Hasan.

Ms. Sherry Rehman, MNA (PPP) shared the amendments with the audience that she has tabled on the blasphemy laws. With regard to blasphemy law, Nageen said “These laws are merely a dangerous tool for the socio-political and economic suppression by the powerful to the vulnerable.”

"We should come together to share teachings of all reigions because all religions teach tolerance, peace and love" said Dr Khalid Masood (Former Chairman, Council of Islamic Ideology). He also explained the Islamic teachings about minority and stressed that Islam is a peaceful religion and never advocate violence.
Ms. Romana Bashir, Head of Programmes of Christian Study Centre, Rawalpindi; Mr. Haroon Sarab Diyal, Chairman of All Pakistan Hindi Movement and Executive member of Pakistan Council Of World Religions and Sunil Singh, coordinator of All Pakistan Hindu & Sikh Movement , Kohat also spoke on the occasion.

Farah Adnan, an artist said “Five of my paintings are at display here at Nomad. My work symbolizes social issues such as honour killing and child abuse.”

Nomad is a centre committed to art, culture, crafts, human rights & peace since 1984.