After the January tragedy at the Quebec City mosque, Rev. Matthew Diegel, Our Saviour’s, Thunder Bay, Ont. and Imam Hikma Sherzad entered into a dialogue. Diegel shared with the local Islamic community the letter written by National Bishop Susan Johnson, and expressed condolences and prayers on behalf of the Our Saviour’s community. The Imam thanked us for our thoughts and then invited us to come to visit.
On Sunday afternoon, May 28, members and friends of Our Saviour’s visited the local masjid (mosque). During our time at the masjid, we observed one of the daily prayers.
This was followed by the Imam’s sharing of the main teachings of Islam and an open discussion both with him and members of the worshipping community. We learned more clearly about the pillars of this religion and about its prayer life, what we held in common, how we differed, and about a shared desire to live together in this city.
We also learned about a member of the masjid, Hasan Syed, who is currently running from Vancouver to Ottawa to raise awareness about the need for clean water in the First Nations communities.
Diegel and the Imam are going to arrange another gathering centring on the motions passed at the National Convention concerning interfaith relations.
We are also hoping to have a joint social event. We had hoped that it would be our congregation’s 2017 curling Funspiel, but the timing didn’t work out. Perhaps next year!
– Rev. Matthew Diegel