Sayyid Kashmiri addresses the panel

On February 26th, 2017, Sayyid M.B. Kashmiri and an I.M.A.M. delegation was invited to join a panel of interfaith leaders at ADAMS Center in Sterling, VA, to discuss ‘Faith over Fear’.

‘Faith over Fear’ is a series of interfaith panel discussions organized by the Washington Hebrew Congregation, the Washington National Cathedral, and the All Dulles Area Muslim Society to express solidarity and commitment to unity, understanding, and inclusion.

Sayyid Kashmiri addressed the diverse congregation of various faiths, as the representative of Ayatullah Sayyid Sistani, and began his remarks by thanking ADAM’s Center and ISNA for their work with I.M.A.M. in progressing Sunni-Shi’a unity. He acknowledged and stressed the importance of interfaith gatherings, where differing faiths and religions collectively confer under one roof, with the goal of mutual understanding.

Sayyid Kashmiri converses with a dialogue participant

He further continued that this collected effort would result in a better future amongst our children and youth rather than misunderstanding and prejudice. Sayyid stressed that we need and we have to know each other, noting that Imam Ali (p) has said: “People are enemies of what they are ignorant of.” (Nahj al-Balagha, Wisdom #169)
Sayyid Kashmiri further continued that these interfaith gatherings are vital, in the current climate of hate and Islamophobia, to show the beauty of unity and coexistence.  He gave the example of current affairs in Iraq with the terrorism of ISIS and how they have hijacked Islam and corrupted its peaceful image with the killings of religious minorities and innocent people as a whole. However, today we see how Muslims and Christians are working together to remove ISIS from their land, demonstrating love and brotherhood.

Sayyid appreciated the collective reaction, in the United States, to the current Islamophobic climate of hate against Muslims, as people of diverse backgrounds stood together in the face of discrimination. He concluded by expressing his hope in the continuation of these forums and thanked ADAM’s Center for the opportunity to attend the ‘Faith over Fear’ panel.