Aishnah Mishaal Baten
On the eve of Friday, 9 November, an interfaith dialogue organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Paraguay was held in Asuncion, Paraguay.
This was the second interfaith dialogue held in Paraguay. The theme this year was How I Can Obtain Peace Through My Religion.
The guests were welcomed by Diego Villalba, member of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. After the opening remarks, he introduced the moderator of the event, Mr Richard Moreira who is the editor of the third largest newspaper in the country and a radio host on a prominent network in Paraguay.
Richard has attended Jalsa Salana UK, met Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa and has always been supportive of Jamaat activities in Paraguay. He introduced the speakers representing four religions respectively: Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam.
Notably, Tarik Ata Sahib, Editor of the Review of Religions Spanish Edition and Head of Spanish Desk, represented Islam Ahmadiyyat. Each speaker gave short addresses and after the addresses the crowd asked questions to the speakers. Following the questions and answers, Tarik Ata Sahib took some time to introduce the Review of Religions to the general public of Paraguay.
The closing remarks were delivered by Ghalib Baten, missionary serving in Paraguay. After thanking the audience and the panelists for their open-mindedness and participating, he quoted a recent speech of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa which was delivered in Philadelphia on 19 October 2018, emphasising the importance of dialogue:
“It is a fact of life that human beings are such creatures who cannot survive without social interaction and without developing mutual relations with other people. Irrespective of differences of race, religion or social background, we are united as human beings, and so it is vital that we interact with other people, rather than isolating ourselves or only mingling with members of our own particular community.
“In all respects, dialogue is crucial to breaking down barriers and increasing mutual understanding and knowledge. For the advancement and evolution of society, and to foster an atmosphere of peace and togetherness, respectful discourse and discussion between people and amongst different communities is vital.”
After the closing remarks, Tarik Ata Sahib led all the participants in silent prayers.
After the official proceedings, the guests were invited to visit tables that were set up by Humanity First, the Review of Religions and a “Try a Hijab Stall” by Lajna Imaillah Paraguay.
One guest, Belen del Puerto, commented:
“This event was very interesting and enriching. My perception of Islam completely changed today and I would like to continue learning more about Islam. The dialogue was very respectful today between the speakers and I liked it very much.”
Some ladies who tried on a hijab said:
“I feel like a woman worthy of respect and dignity.”
“The hijab made me feel cared for and protected.”
“I felt at peace with myself and as if I do not care about what others think of me.”
A total of 53 people attended the event, including Ahmadis as well as guests. It is our prayer that through the grace of Allah and the prayers of Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa, righteous and sincere souls continue to be guided to Ahmadiyyat, the true Islam.