Oslo, Norway—UPF-Norway, in partnership with the Central Jamat Ahl-E Sunnat mosque, organized a program to commemorate United Nations Day.
The topic of the meeting on October 22, 2020, was “For Cooperation, against Polarization and for Common Values.” Around 35 guests participated in the event.
The speakers came from many faith backgrounds.
Imam Syed Nehmat Ali Shah, who is also the head of the Norwegian Imam Council, representing the host mosque, expressed a desire to make a joint resolution after the meeting, and many participants signed this resolution.
Michael Gritzman from the Jewish community spoke about the first human family, their failures, and the lessons we can learn from them to make humanity into a global family.
Jagdish Kaur from the Sikh temple in Oslo commented on parallels between UN values and the values in her faith tradition.
Marta Bivand Erdal, representing the Catholic Church, gave a good overview of Pope Francis’ third encyclical, Fratelli Tutti (“All Brothers”), in which the pope emphasizes the value of service rather than concern about individual interests.
Senaid Kobilica, the leader of the Muslim Dialogue Network in Norway and also the head imam of the Bosnian community, spoke on how to meet provocations or extremism. He pointed to their prophet and said we should follow his pattern, with peaceful means.
Kanagaratnam Pulendran, a board member of the Hindu Cultural Center in Oslo, spoke on challenges in today’s world and how the UN addresses these challenges in its Sustainable Development Goals.
Finally Steinar Murud, the leader of UPF-Norway, spoke on the UPF values of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values as prerequisites for peace.
As a conclusion, the mosque served a nice Pakistani dinner to all the participants.
Photographs by Peter Nordhagen