Wednesday, July 16, 2014
A Blissful Iftar Dinner
July 15, 2014
Reported by Saeed Qureshi
Dr Basheer Ahmed an acclaimed Human Right activist and the president of IQRA (Institute of Quranic knowledge and intra-faith Religious Acceptance) hosted an Iftar dinner at the Dera Grill restaurant to highlight and reinforce the sectarian unity and togetherness particularly between Sunni and Shia sects within the fold of Islam. Dr. Basheer and his illustrious wife are engaged in the service of the immigrant community from the subcontinent for three decades now.
An embodiment of selflessness, humility and courtesy, Dr. Basheer assembled a group of conscientious individuals representing their respective sects specifically the Shias and Sunnis. In fact the dinner was self explanatory by its portrayal as “Shia Sunni unity Iftar dinner”.
In his invitation letter sent to a select number of invitees, Dr. Basheer defined the underlying objective of the dinner. In the backdrop of the unrelenting sectarian violence in the Islamic countries he wrote:
“it is incumbent upon us as Muslim leaders to do what we can locally while thinking globally to ensure that at least within our own circles we unite to counter this violence, making it a model for other communities and countries to follow suit.”
In short the aim of this important evening was,” unity and harmonious relationship between Shia and Sunni sects and to achieve the goal of developing a harmonious relationship”
Various speakers in their short discourses emphasized the dire need of sectarian peace and fraternity here in the United State generally and in DFW particularly. Ever since its establishment last year, IQRA has taken an impressive lead towards fostering goodwill, amity and a sense of mutual respectability and tolerance among the divergent sects. Its stout and sterling evidence was the tone and tenor of the observations expressed diligently by the followers of Shia, Sunni and even Ahmadi faith.
The independents, the secular and the liberal persons from among the guests also articulated their point of view and converged on the dire imperative of religious and sectarian harmony. There were male and female speakers who proffered valuable and far- reaching propositions and excellent ideas towards inculcating an atmosphere free of religious aversion and bigotry.
The Shia- Sunni unity Iftar dinner has brought home and underscored the fundamental passion that the common Muslims on various sides of sectarian divide earnestly aspire for the unity among the Muslims. The hallmark of the animated debate and discussion was a consensus on the most pressing need of togetherness and coexistence between various sects irrespective of their ideological discords. That feeling and outcome in fact has adequately served and fulfilled the underlying purpose of this evening’s Iftar dinner.
Dr. Basheer is doing a monumental service to the community in an altruistic and noble manner for which the immigrant communities from the subcontinent should be grateful to him. As such he needs the earnest support and unstinting cooperation of every sincere Muslim in this pioneering initiative for eventual attainment of the sublime and splendid target of sectarian peace, harmony and unity.
Three other important aspects of this wonderful and instructive evening were the organized manner in which it was conducted, the evening prayer and a sumptuous dinner with a variety of delicious dishes. The cook also deserves a pat on the back.