Annual Interfaith Lecture - 2019
The Fife Interfaith Group, sponsored by Interfaith Scotland, held their annual Interfaith lecture at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Kirkcaldy, on Wednesday 13 November 2019. Mike Haines, O.B.E. a dn founder of "Glogal Acts of Unity" gave a lecture on his brother David who was captures in Syria by terrorists whilst on a humanitarian mission. He was publicly executed atfer several months of imprisonment and torture. Mike spoke of his fight, not against the terrorists themselves but against all forms of extremism and hatred..
The Audience, consisting of people from many faiths and beliefs were moved by his passionate plea for tolerance. His mantra “If we hate, they win” was repeated throughout his presentation.
Bishop Dale Black, representing the local LDS congregation said of the event “The topic of love, tolerance, and forgiveness was the overwhelming message.”.
Alisha Ahmed, Aged 11, from Kirkcaldy High School said she attended this event as part of Interfaith week and found it “emotional and touching”.
Joyce Bloomfield, a local LDS church member, remembered hearing of David's death in the news and was touched by Mike's honest, uplifting, and humble account. “It gave me a desire to serve and make a difference in my community” she said.
Usman Saeed, President of the Edinburgh and Fife Ahmadiyya community later said of the presentation, “It is so refreshing and inspiring that Mike is going out there to all the communities up and down the country as well as abroad to show how important it is to reject all forms of hate fuelled ideologies whether it be the daesh or the far right.”.
Most of the attendees were able to linger afterwards to socialise and enjoy the refreshments.
Iain Liston, Chairperson of the Fife Interfaith Group, expressed his desire to increase the influence the Fife Interfaith group had in the community and encouraged the attendees to volunteer in whatever capacity they could to support events like these. “I believe we can go back to our congregations, organisations, and social groups, armed with the motivation to make the world a better place, one community at a time”.
Pictured: Mike Haines O.B.E., Bishop Dale Black, Alisha Ahmed, Judy Hamilton (Local Authority Councillor), and Usman Saeed (President of the Edinburgh & Fife Ahmadiyya Community)