Peterborough, Ontario 18th March 2019

إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ‎ (Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un) is a part of a verse from the Holy Qur’an which translates to “We belong to God and to God we shall return.”

Muslims all over the world have been uttering these words since Friday, devastated by the cold-blooded massacre of 50 Muslims (including children) & the injuring of 50 more at jummah prayers in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Abraham Festival committee of Peterborough, consisting of Jews, Christians & Muslims, extends their sincere condolences to the families of the victims; we pray that God will ease their suffering, and that He will receive the souls of the victims into heaven.

An attack on one faith group is an attack on all people of faith; and by extension, on all humanity. Jewish tradition teaches us that every person is created in the Divine image, and that one who takes a single life destroys an entire world. In the Qur’an, God says that if someone takes a life, it is as though he kills all of mankind. And Jesus of Nazareth taught people to “Love your enemy”.

At times like this, it is more important than ever that we come together to promote education, understanding and acceptance. The Abraham Festival was established 16 years ago to bring together Jews, Christians & Muslims, to celebrate our heritage in our common ancestor Abraham, and to demystify ‘the other’. We invite the community to work with us to spread the love and acceptance that each of our faiths teach.

“For every act of hatred, there is a greater love and friendship that we are surrounded by in the community. It is this love and friendship that I look to, to counter the hate”: Dr. Shegufa Merchant, Abraham Festival committee member.