- Category: Uncategorised
The first week of February, annually, has been designated World Interfaith Harmony week by the United Nations.
In Kayunga this year, we focus on the theme: “Golden Rule: Together for a Global Ethic; One God, One Message to an entire Humanity”; and activities include a workshop on the Golden Rule; a Students Debate on causes of religious extremism, Interfaith visits and rehabilitation of 85yr old grandma living with six grandchildren in a near collapsing structure called a house (see photo above) next to a collapsed borehole that once gave them a smile and meaning.
On behalf of Global Citizens International, the Director, Mr. Joseph Nahabwe and together with the Patron, Hon. Sulaiman Madada ; in conjucntion with the Chairman Kayunga Inter Religious Committee, Rev. Moses Munakukaama and Prince Charles Jjukko who is also President of Kayunga Journalists Association, invite all people of faith to come together this year and demonstrate what we believe, namely, to wish others what we wish for ourselves by at least putting a smile on this obviously very needy household in our midst.
World Interfaith Harmony Week was proclaimed by the General Assembly in resolution A/RES/65/5 adopted on 20 October 2010. In the resolution, the General Assembly, points out that mutual understanding and inter-religious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace and establishes World Interfaith Harmony Week as a way to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith.
Recognizing the imperative need for dialogue among different faiths and religions to enhance mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation among people, the General Assembly encourages all States to support during that week the spread of the message of interfaith harmony and goodwill in the world’s churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and other places of worship, on a voluntary basis and according to their own religious traditions or convictions.
In his message last year, secretary general Ban Ki-moon noted: “The vast majority of people of faith live in harmony with their neighbours, whatever their creed, but each religion also harbours a strident minority prepared to assert fundamentalist doctrines through bigotry and extreme violence”.
In Uganda we ought to take this agenda seriously because every day that passes proves to us that extremists are only a wink away. For example this last week, France witnessed the Charlie Hebdo massacre with 17 innocents passing on at the hands of religious extremists. Near home, in Niger, supporters of the extremists in Charlie Hebdo burned down Christian places of worship to underline their support for Charlie Hebdo massacre; just like that.And of course our own experience July 2010, with 86 deaths and this last year's heightened alert where our more sophisticated friends had already advised their citizens in Kampala to stay indoors are all indicators to an immediate and present danger we are already in every single day that we live.
Only by God's grace did our security apparatus get on top of the situation, picking all the suspects without a single shot. If an attack by only two terrorists brought an entire nation into tears back in 2010, what would it have been had all the fifteen or so completed their crime. No one can be sure now which act anywhere, will attract a massacre next door or actually inside of ones doors. Wherever extremists are touched, and they have to, its adherents reaction can emerge anywhere anytime, across the globe. Our communities must therefore come together quickly, irrespective of religion or creed and define what true religion is and what it isn’t. The Golden Rule , which is a proven document across faiths that true religion is one thing, and one only, comes handy in this regard.
To add more meaning to our need to leverage on the times, this year Uganda holds the Presidency of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), in the names of our very own, Hon Sam Kutesa MP, and Minister for Foreign affairs. Now in its fifth year, and given our position, is there any reason why Uganda would not take the lead in specially observing World Interfaith Harmony Week, this year?
Let us all therefore appeal to one another to teach especially our own households to rethink true faith urgently and as a nation, to leverage on the times given our position internationally.
Will you join the campaign for Interfaith Harmony this year? We suggest that you do. God's Blessings to you all.
Joseph R. Nahabwe
CHAIRMAN / CO-FOUNDER; Global Citizens International Ltd.
The author supports neither Charlie Hebdo magazine's ways, nor those of their attackers simply because two wrongs do not make a right.
The government in France, for their illusion on freedom of speech, is probably guilty of a worse crime.