On Saturday, Dec. 9, the Baitur Rahman Mosque in Delta will be holding its fourth annual women’s interfaith symposium.
Put on by the Ahmadiyya Women’s Auxiliary, the symposium is one of the mosque’s biggest interfaith events of the year.
“We find it actually more empowering that we are able to conduct and hold an event on such a huge scale, and be responsible for it, without having to get the assistance from men,” said Aisha Naveed, public events coordinator for the Ahmadiyya Women’s Auxiliary.
Featuring discussions by female speakers from a number of faiths, the symposium will tackle the question “does religion promote extremism?” — a topic Naveed said is, “really current, especially with the events that are going on around the world.”
At past events, Naveed said, she received feedback asking that these events address more controversial issues.
“So this time we decided that, you know what, let’s be out there and speak about the things that people want to talk about,” she said.
“They want to talk about ‘is religion promoting extremism?’ ‘What is promoting extremism?’ So we want to answer all those questions that people want to know about.”
There will be five speakers representing different faiths discussing whether religion promotes extremism, in addition to several guest speakers talking about how to promote peace in an interfaith society.
Scheduled to speak are Rabbi Susan Shamash (Judaism), Pastor Jennifer Wilson (Christianity), Nishtha Nuckchady (Hinduism), Sundeep Kaur (Sikhism) and Naheed Chokher (Islam), as well as Delta Mayor Lois Jackson, Surrey-Panorama MLA Jinny Sims, Delta Police Sgt. Cathy Geddes and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints B.C. public affairs council co-director Tonya Engen. Delta Counc. Sylvia Bishop will moderate the event.
“I always love to hear the various opinions,” Naveed said. “I love seeing how similar the train of thought is for most of us.
“And it’s always like there’s differences, but there’s nothing that should be creating walls between us. If anything, it should be easier to build bridges.”
The symposium will be held at the Baitur Rahman Mosque (9570 River Rd.) from 2 to 4 p.m. on Dec. 9. Admission is free; daycare and refreshments are provided.