Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Cayman Islands: Muslim Imam met with insults by some Christian leaders on inter-faith efforts


CNS contacted a number of local Christian leaders but none of them would speak on the record about the idea of interfaith communication

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: Cayman News
By CNS | August 7, 2017

Some being hostile about the notion and others dismissing it as something that Cayman did not need.

A Toronto-based imam from the Ahmadiyya Community, a sect of Islam dedicated to peace and interfaith cooperation, offered to explain Islam over a coffee to anyone in Cayman interested in understanding why the vast majority of the world’s Muslims are not terrorists. But Aizaz Khan received a less-than-warm welcome by local Christians during his short visit. Khan arrived on vacation a few weeks ago and offered to answer any questions anyone had about Islam. Hoping to meet with local Christian leaders to begin building bridges he instead was met with insults and derision.

Khan arrived at a time when some people are ratcheting up anti-Islamic rhetoric as Cayman’s new governor, Anwar Bokth Choudhury, who will take over from Helen Kilpatrick next March, is Muslim. A campaign has been started by local activist Kerry Tibbetts to have the new governor replaced. She has said the FCO is being insensitive appointing a non-Christian to the job. CNS also understands that another group of local people has also written to the FCO expressing their dissatisfaction about Choudhury’s appointment.

With opposition to people of other faiths taking on the top job, Khan’s visit came an an interesting time. But he said that his offer to discuss the issue of religion, and Islam in particular, was largely rejected by the local Christian community. He found younger people and some less conservative Christians, as well as those from the Filipino Christian community, were in some cases happy to engage. Khan said he was really grateful to those people who were willing to embrace his offer and ask lots of questions over coffee.

But being called “scum” by some Christians surprised him, he said, as he was just offering to talk and nothing more.

CNS also contacted a number of local Christian leaders but none of them would speak on the record about the idea of interfaith communication, with some being hostile about the notion and others dismissing it as something that Cayman did not need.

Cayman has a very small Islamic community and most practising Muslims remain very much under the radar. There is no mosque or any other non-Christian place of worship, and most people practising faiths outside of Christianity meet for worship in private homes or sometime hire function rooms.  Although the preamble to the Cayman Islands Constitution 2009 describes the country as Christian, the bill of rights protects all religions.



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1 comment:

  1. Hey IFC and WRC just a method of starting good communication among different faith to promote love, peace and harmony in a society to get prosperity. It is not at all threat for any one. I think Khan sahib should be promoted to start building the bridges not the walls between different religions as all are from God and the talk about God teaching to make ourselves better. I think if we keep on respecting each other and honour each others feelings so in this way we gonna be better and useful in the society.

    Regards to all of you

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