Imam to give peace lecture

Gamal Fouda. Photo: Getty Images
Gamal Fouda. Photo: Getty Images
The imam who was starting a sermon when the shooting began at his Christchurch mosque will deliver the annual peace lecture at the University of Otago this evening.

Al Noor mosque Imam Gamal Fouda will speak, starting at 6.30pm, at the St David Lecture Theatre, presenting an Islamic perspective on social cohesion as a product of respecting diversity, in the 16th annual Open Peace Lecture.

Mr Fouda is no stranger to the city, having earlier lived in Dunedin for two years while he studied at the College of Education.

Speaking yesterday shortly after arriving in the city, he said his speech would also describe his journey to becoming an imam in New Zealand and his experience of Islamophobia after the September 11 terror attacks in 2001.

He also planned to talk about tolerance, cohesion and how to combat racism.

Mr Fouda called on people to confront racism in their communities and for the Government, educational and religious organisations and political leaders to continue speaking about the problem of ingrained intolerance.

"We all need to stand against hate.

"Our diversity is our power."

Mr Fouda had just begun his sermon on March 15 when the killing began at the Al Noor mosque, where 42 people would die.

He is now standing for the community board in Riccarton, where the Al Noor mosque is situated.

The Open Peace Lecture is presented by the Dunedin Abrahamic Interfaith Group and Otago Tertiary Chaplaincy, and alternates between Muslim, Jewish and Christian speakers.

16th Annual Peace Lecture: tonight at St David Lecture Theatre, 6.30pm-7.45pm

 

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