Denisse M Vera
Our Common Word
Ata-Ur Rehman has helped take Our Common Word (OCW) from a small group that was only interested in having Christian-Muslim dialogues to an initiative empowering communities from all backgrounds to serve humanity. OCW started 10 years ago, when like-minded people from both Christian and Islamic faiths came together to share common grounds that exists between the two great religions. In the political climate at the time there was misdirected anger, fear and hatred against Muslims. To repair the damaged bridges of trust the Muslim Association of Riverina Wagga Wagga Australia, and the Diocese of Wagga Wagga initiated a series of interfaith dialogues, over the last 10 years, for communities to understand the message of peace that Islam offers to mankind. These efforts fast progressed, visible to people of other faiths to also come forward and join OCW for that common goal of serving humanity. The meetings have attracted Buddhist, Hindus, and different church groups to join hands to tackle homelessness, destitution, domestic violence and youth related issues.
OWC is about encouraging all communities to unite for a common cause of helping the less fortunate and to show case how multiculturalism can effectively create a sea change in people lives.
Multiculturalism can be considered as a backbone of Australia that supports a vibrant, law abiding society of people of all races, religion, ethnic and cultural backgrounds living in a unified way, sharing freedom and mutual respect.
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