On Friday I led Jum‘ah prayers, attended also by some Christians. In the afternoon we continued our dialogue programme at the University of Alberta. The theme was ‘Contemporary Challenges; Islamic and Christian Responses – The Value of Life’. This was led by Dr Chris Huebner and I. It was a well-attended event and was followed by a Q&A. One Saturday we had the main programme for ‘The Common World’, titled ‘Christian – Muslim Dialogue more important now than ever’. Dr Urma Fast Dueck and I gave presentations on the topic. The programme was followed by group discussions with the participants engaging with the topics we had presented. This session was also very well attended with Christian leaders, activists, politicians and some members of the Legislative Assembly. In fact it was so popular that at one stage they had to close the registration.
The event was held in St Mathias Anglican Church. In the evening we had a programme in the First Mennonite Church. This programme was led by Dr Urma Fast Dueck and myself and was about sharing our personal accounts on dialogue for the youths. On Sunday we had a programme in the Trinity Lutheran Church in Edmonton. As it was the 500th anniversary of the Reformation a special service was held. Dr Fast Dueck and I were invited to address the congregation during the service. It was a very significant invitation because Dr Fast Dueck is a Mennonite Christian and Lutherans have some history with Mennonites. Moreover, I was a Muslim. We also had
prayers by Catholics, Mennonites, Orthodox, Lutherans and Muslims. The church was packed and there was very nice atmosphere. My talk was about ‘Seeing the face of God in other religions’. Praise be to God, people were very enthusiastic and afterwards many came to talk and shake hands with me. ( see page 6) In the evening we had another programme in the First Mennonite church but this one was for the community. The speakers were both Chris Huebner and I with David Goa, formerly of Chester Ronning Centre, serving as moderator. The theme was ‘Peace Expressions in Islam and Christianity’. On Monday morning we had another programme under the title of ‘Dialogue / Peace Resources in Islam and Christianity / Christian/ Muslim relations-building & understanding’. This was hosted by the Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life and held at the University
of Alberta in Camrose, about an hour’s drive from Edmonton. Our talk was followed by a Q&A session. This was more of a class but also open to the public. It was attended by around 50 participants who stayed for a two and a half hour session. My trip to Canada continued to Vancouver. There we had a meeting with our Kawthar Learning Circle students. I talked about the reaction between our deeds and rewards and punishment in the Hereafter. On the way back from Edmonton to the UK, I stopped in Toronto where we had a joint meeting with some of the KLC students and four of our Focolare friends.