For some years now, Hashmat and I have been meeting (in person and then on-line) as members of Tysons Interfaith representing our respective congregations. Hashmat is a member of the McLean Islamic Center, a respected and valued leader of Tysons Interfaith, and a friend. It has been my privilege to take part in an Iftar meal at the McLean Islamic Center. Hashmat and I both appreciated taking part in a series of conversations sponsored by Tysons Interfaith that examined the concept of the “Oneness of Humanity” through the lens of various faith traditions.
Recently, we were both interested to learn that our friends at the Interfaith Council of Metropolitan Washington (IFC) will be highlighting a series of events in observance of World Interfaith Harmony Week. https://ifcmw.org/ihdmv2022/
Hashmat wanted to know more about World Interfaith Harmony Week, so he visited the website and this is what he found:
The World Interfaith Harmony Week
Annual UN Observance Week: Feb. 1-7
The World Interfaith Harmony Week was first proposed at the UN General Assembly on September 23, 2010 by H.M. King Abdullah II of Jordan. Just under a month later, on October 20, 2010, it was unanimously adopted by the UN and henceforth the first week of February will be observed as a World Interfaith Harmony Week.
The World Interfaith Harmony Week is based on the pioneering work of The Common Word initiative. This initiative, which started in 2007, called for Muslim and Christian leaders to engage in a dialogue based on two common fundamental religious Commandments; Love of God, and Love of the Neighbour, without nevertheless compromising any of their own religious tenets. The Two commandments are at the heart of the three Monotheistic religions and therefore provide the most solid theological ground possible.
The World Interfaith Harmony Week extends the Two Commandments by adding ‘Love of the Good, and Love of the Neighbour’. This formula includes all people of goodwill. It includes those of other faiths, and those with no faith.
The World Interfaith Harmony Week provides a platform—one week in a year—when all interfaith groups and other groups of goodwill can show the world what a powerful movement they are. The thousands of events organized by these groups often go unnoticed not only by the general public, but also by other groups themselves. This week will allow for these groups to become aware of each other and strengthen the movement by building ties and avoiding duplicating each others’ efforts.
It is hoped that this initiative will provide a focal point from which all people of goodwill can recognize that the common values they hold far outweigh the differences they have, and thus provide a strong dosage of peace and harmony to their communities.
What a beautiful thing this is, particularly as our world struggles to overcome divisiveness and bigotry that is often the result of not truly knowing our neighbors. Hashmat and I are honored to be part of a great group of people of different faith traditions and spiritualities who are working together to promote interfaith understanding, spiritual growth and human connection in the rapidly growing Tysons area. We applaud the goals of Interfaith Harmony Week as it is celebrated globally and locally.
To learn more about World Interfaith Harmony Week, please visit: https://worldinterfaithharmonyweek.com/
This blog post is the expressed opinion of its writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Tysons Interfaith or its members.