The campaign hopes to unify the faiths of the world against intolerance and violence.
The world has almost become accustomed to religious hate and intolerance. Despite the fact that almost all religions advocate for peace and harmony, a lot of the time it seems to be dividing people in the worst way possible. In Egypt, the division between Muslims and the Christians has been taking a toll on what once was a unified nation (mostly) - a nation where, back in 2011 during the revolution, Christians were shielding Muslims from police brutality as they prayed. No doubt religious feuds and discord are a global issue and so Israeli-American organisation Elijah Interfaith Institution has just released a video which brings together the religious leaders of the world for a unified message of friendship, and it features Egypt's Grand Mufti Shawki Allam.
Allam appears in the video saying, “don’t focus on or search for religious differences between religious groups,” among other religious leaders who echoed his message with statements like, “our advice is to make friends with followers of all religions,” said Shia Muslim cleric Ayatollah Sayyid Fadhel Al-Milani. And “personal contact, personal friendship, then we can exchange a deeper level of experience,” said the Dalai Lama.
The aim of the ‘Make Friends’ initiative is, as the name suggests, to unite the religions of the world away from disdain and away from any violent attacks carried out under the pretext of piousness. It suggests that we should instead listen to each other and understand that we are indeed very much the same kind.
There were 22 leaders from an array of religious backgrounds including Sikhism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Each leader also has their own individual statement that can be viewed on Make Friends’ YouTube account.
Check out the campaign video below.