A group of thirty senior experts in various aspects of policing, law enforcement, and countering extremism from thirteen states that include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, Iraq, Turkey, Qatar, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, UAE, and Morocco visited the Crescent Islamic Center (Masjid al-Nabi) in Chantilly, Virginia, for an interfaith discussion to exchange experiences and thoughts for peace and coexistence. The session was coordinated through the leadership of Dr. Hassan Abbas, Course Director of “Community Oriented Policing and Countering Violent Extremism” and Distinguished Professor of International Relations at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies (NESA).

The distinguished guests, representing various traditions in Muslim and Christian traditions, delivered presentations on their experiences with the various aspects of policing, law enforcement, and countering extremism focusing on the importance of inter-intra faith dialogue for religious harmony and building peace.

For his part, Sayyid M.B. Kashmiri addressed the advice received from Grand Ayatullah Sayyid al-Sistani about the importance of respecting others irrespective of their religion or sect. Notably, “Don’t say to Sunnis they are our brothers, say they are ourselves” and to Christians, “You are part of us, and we are part of you”.

Furthermore, Sayyid Kashmiri talked about his personal experience during the 30 nights of the blessed month of Ramadan at Masjid al-Nabi (p), “bringing together all Muslims from different schools of thought and various backgrounds, reciting Quran, attending lectures, and praying in congregation, and having iftar (breaking the fast) all together just like a garden of different flowers with different colors and different fragrances.” He went on to say that “American Muslims have the opportunity to play a better role and become a role model for all Muslims in different parts of the world. They just need to follow Quranic principles and understand, trust, and love one another.”

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