Our differences are our strength as a species and as a world community” – Nelson Mandela
The Interfaith Program carried out between Al Siraat College and with St. Monica’s College, Epping has enabled students to collaborate with those of other faiths and to thereby develop mutual respect and understanding, and instil essential skills required to live harmoniously in a multi faith society.
Students from Al Siraat College visited St. Monica’s College in Term 1 where they had the opportunity to learn about Christianity, build friendships with students at St. Monica’s College and learn about each other’s religion and culture.
In Term 2, students from St. Monica’s College visited our College where they had the opportunity to learn about Islam and meet and greet prominent members from our community representing different faiths. Representatives from Hinduism, Sikhism, Christianity and Islam were present from various walks of life, including the Mayor of Whittlesea, Footy star Bachar Houli who shared his experience of being a Muslim representative in AFL, elite members from the Hindu and Sikh community who educated our students on Hinduism and Sikhism. It was an enjoyable day for our students who had the opportunity to meet and greet with elite guest from various and strengthen the bond they built with their friends at St. Monica’s early in the year.
Term 3 of the Interfaith Programme was scheduled for Thursday, 17th September when students from Al Siraat and St. Monica’s College had a chance to visit the Sikh Temple, "The Gurudwara". This gave our students the opportunity to join hands with their friends at St. Monica’s College in learning about another religion and culture. The trip to the Gurudwara enabled our interfaith representatives to celebrate the diversity in our society and acknowledge the many similarities that are shared within Sikhism, Islam and Christianity that promote universal values of peace, harmony and co-existence, to enhance goodness in humanity.
The interfaith program has given all participants memorable experiences each term in celebrating our differences, building friendships and to inculcate values of respect, responsibility and integrity. It has given our students the valuable opportunity to share with the wider College community the knowledge they have acquired and the experience they have had while being Interfaith representatives for their College. It has been another means of educating our students on the importance of respecting diversity within and beyond the Islamic faith, as mentioned in the Noble Qur’an: "Oh mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another.' (49:13)
As we move on to the final term of 2015, we look forward to another wonderful day with our interfaith representatives, with plans to broaden this program to reach many other members of our diverse community in the upcoming years.