One of our alumni, Qari Muhammad Shoukat a young Muslim participant from Madrassa Hussain Ibn-e-Ali once expressed that he previously held biased opinions about other sects of Islam and minorities in Pakistan. His ignorance and misconceptions about minority groups were evident in his views, as he consistently spoke against them during the session as well as he was pretty reluctant to let women participate during the training activities. While sharing his views he said,
“After attending YDF Diversity Camp for interfaith Harmony, I have completely changed my view about inter and intra-faith communities. I have realized the need to redefine my role in the community. I am aimed to teach others about minority rights and visit the church along with my fellow students so that they can also learn that Christians and people belonging to other religions are no different than us.”
He also mentioned “I was quite reluctant to see female participants in an attire totally different that of our village and I was quite uncomfortable about it. I even tried to talk to one participant and asked her to change her attire as per my thoughts to which she felt offended but I didn’t care as for me I was on right. The issue was presented before YDF team, and to my surprise, YDF team seemed to be very composed and quite peaceful as nothing has happened. Later, I learnt that it attire is merely a matter of choice for anyone and it’s a personal decision and we should have capacity to accept. The difference in opinions or choice. That’s diversity and that’s what makes us a more resilient community. I am glad, I also learnt to be composed in matters of distress and to be calm if something goes against my thoughts.”
He is intended to encourage community members to develop mutual relationships with other sects as well as with other community. Keeping in mind his mission to promote peace and harmony for all, he also aims to initiate and facilitate a peace-building seminar for women at his madrassa. Around seventy women from different communities will join this seminar, which aims to engage women in peace building activities and to develop relationships with each other through face-to-face interactions.