Interfaith Peacebuilding


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Interfaith Programs

Saudi Scholar Addresses Toronto Chapter

Toronto, Canada - The Toronto chapter of UPF-Canada welcomed Saudi religious scholar, businessman, and writer Sheikh Ali Bin Sa'ad Ashshahrani to their office at Mavety, Toronto. Upon his arrival, Sheikh Ali was received by UPF Central District Chairman Dr. Hoossen Auckbaraullee and other high-ranking UPF officials. Sheikh Ali was accompanied by his Canadian host Sheikh Shazaad Rasul Mohammed, President and Founder of The Canadian Dawah Association, who is also an Ambassador for Peace with UPF, based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Sheikh Shazaad has a degree in the Arabic language as well as a Bachelors of Law degree in Islamic Shariah.

Sheikh Ali later met UPF-Canada Chairman Dr. Chae Hee Lee, UPF-Canada Secretary General Frank Famularo, UPF Central District Co-Director Rev. Mitch Dixon, Rev. Paul Tamale, and Rev. Stoyan Tadin and addressed a gathering of UPF Ambassadors for Peace. Almost 50 people attended the welcoming gathering for Sheikh Ali, where he received an standing ovation for his commitment to the cause of peace among different cultures and religions.

He informed the audience that King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia has undertaken many initiatives to promote peace among the people of diverse cultures and religious backgrounds. Among such initiatives, the pioneering Madrid interfaith conference will be best remembered for his patronage; it attracted over 300 delegates including Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs. The conference was opened by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah, in the presence of Spain's King Juan Carlos and Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

"King Abdullah has a universal vision and believes that the followers of different faiths and cultures, who uphold common values, can play a big role in solving problems," said Sheikh Ali. The conference called for enhancing common human values and for their dissemination within societies. He appreciated the role of Universal Peace Federation for promoting peace and he pledged his support for the cause.

Frank Famularo spoke in appreciation of Sheikh Ali and his visit to UPF office in Toronto. "Your esteemed visit would help us narrow the gap between Islam and other religions on common grounds of understanding to help build peace universally," said Famularo. We in UPF believe that cultural and interfaith dialogues are essential in order to promote world peace. We are fully aware of the efforts your country has put on interfaith dialogue. Because of the initiative of King Abdullah, it was possible for the United Nations to hold a special session of the General Assembly at the level of world leaders in New York on November 12-13, 2008 to launch interfaith dialogue to achieve peace in the world.

Dr. Auckbaraullee presented him with a certificate and medal in appreciation of his peace work in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. "We supplicate to Almighty Allah for the success of your endeavors in Canada and look forward to your continual efforts for the achievements of peace through interfaith and intercultural dialogues," said Dr. Auckbaraullee.

Sheikh Shahzaad was also awarded a certificate of appreciation and medal for developing grassroots relations between UPF and the peace-loving people of Saudi Arabia.

At the end of this meeting, Author Qamrul A. Khanson presented Sheikh Ali with the two volumes of his book The Satanic Diseases. The books mention 222 commonalities mentioned in Torah, Gospel, and Qur’an and gives evidence and reasons to forge an alliance for a common goal of peace among the diverse cultures and religions.

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