The “secular fabric” of the country has to be retained and creating awareness about it is the need of the hour, said several members in a meeting where people from various faith celebrated friendship.
The way to do it is through dialogue, they said. Among those present was Moulana Shafique Qasmi, imam of Nakhoda Masjid.
Religious leaders and community heads need to “recognize spiritual common ground through the bonds of trust and friendship, so that we may rise above our differences and combat prejudice and intolerance”, he said.
Leaders from different religions attended a talk on Building Bridges and Inspiring Peace on the International Day of Friendship. The United Interfaith Foundation-India organised the programme with support from IHA Foundation and Sindhi Panchayat.
Singh Sahib Giani Ranjeet Singh, jathedar of Takht Patna Sahib, expressed his delight to be with “brothers and sisters of various faith and religions”.
“We should continue our valiant efforts to bring all faith and religions under one umbrella of peace, harmony and universal brotherhood,” he said. The archbishop of Calcutta, Thomas D’Souza, who is not in the city, sent a message that underscored the need to understand other religions. Satnam Singh Ahluwalia, general secretary of United Interfaith Foundation and Gurdwara Behala, said, “We have to hold the social fabric of the country together.”