The conference that was sponsored by The Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, in partnership with the Cultural of Islamic Republic of Iran, UBC TV, Kampala University, and Al-Mustafa Islamic College took place at Pope Paul Memorial Hotel this past Thursday August 11th.
The conference which was highlighted by the Guest of Honor by Hon. Fr. Simon Lokodo, Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity in the Republic of Uganda, spoke on this issues of the extremism and intolerance that dominate our new headlines worldwide. And how as religious leaders, and academia, they could best fight back against this vice. Ironically, much of this violence is often done in the name of religion.
Fr. Lokodo quoted the Late Pope John xxiii who said that “PEACE” is the most precious grace.” He went on to highlight that Jesus proclaimed that, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
No less that 10 university in Uganda were represented at the conference, including one of the Co-sponsors, Kampala University which was represented, among others by their Vice Chancellor Professor Badru Kateregga, who gave one of the more emotional and riveting speeches, where he said “Anyone committing violence, should not say that they are doing it in the name of Islam, because it is not allowed in our religion”
Many papers were presented that looked into many things including, the role of religious leaders in controlling violence, the role of the media, role of interfaith talks, ect.
The Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Uganda, was one of many Iranian dignitaries who graced the event, including the sponsors, and they reiterated the need for continued dialogue between interfaith in the future.
His Eminence Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje Mufti of Uganda/Co-President Of the Council of Presidents Inter Religious Council of Uganda, cited in his speech on behalf of the Council of Presidents how IRCU was a perfect example of how Inter faith talks works, and how people of different religions can coexist. He mentioned in the 16 years since the inception of IRCU there has not been any quarreling and misunderstanding and hope that spirit could be the case internationally.