On his jacket lapel, Tahir Chaudhry wears a pin that succinctly states his life philosophy: Love for all. Hatred for none.
That is the message he would like to impart this Saturday during a free, multi-faith seminar at George Town Town Hall.
The ‘My Faith … Loyalty to Cayman’ programme will include speakers representing Christianity, Hinduism and Islam in an effort to build bridges and understanding between Cayman’s communities.
Chaudhry, an imam and missionary, is spearheading the event on the part of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, with the support of the Celebrate Cayman’s 60 Acts of Service initiative.
The weekend of 1-2 June will include a full schedule of community-oriented events across Cayman, of which the multi-faith seminar is just one facet.
Chaudhry said the Ahmadiyya community has hosted similar multi-faith gatherings all over the world. He sees the events as a way to push back against the fear, prejudice and misunderstanding that can often come with religious and cultural differences.
“I enjoy these platforms where we can sit down peacefully and respectfully, and understand that we have a lot more similarities than we do differences. We all want Cayman to be a peaceful, loving country,” Chaudhry said.
The event is not meant as a means to evangelise or convert anyone to a particular religion, but rather intended to open dialogue on what can often be a difficult subject area. Among the stated event objectives is promoting interfaith respect, harmony, inclusiveness and diversity.
“We have so many nationalities here and everyone has their own beautiful message or their own beautiful lifestyle. So we wanted to bring awareness to all of the different communities so we can have a healthier society,” Chaudhry said.
“I’m not saying ‘become Muslim’. That’s not my goal. My goal is just so we have an understanding, so we have a relationship, so we can walk hand in hand and develop this Cayman society for a better future. And what better way than at the occasion of the 60th [anniversary] celebrations.”
The event will allow a representative from each religion to speak, and then the floor will open to a 45-minute question-and-answer session.
Chaudhry said the only requirement for attendance is arriving with an open mind.
“This provides a platform where people can openly … ask anything they want. No question is a bad question,” he said.
“We have strong multiculturalism here on this island. We wanted to bring everyone together. We have not had any negative feedback, by the grace of God.”
The seminar will begin at 6pm Saturday, 1 June at George Town Town Hall.
For more information on the seminar and a full list of events during the 60 Acts of Service weekend, visit www.celebratecayman.ky/60acts.