The biggest achievement of Affinity Intercultural Foundation to date (2002) has been the international Muslim-Christian Dialogue Conference , which was held in Sydney on April the 27th. Although the conference was an all day event, it was attended by about 500 Muslims and Christians combined and was featured on SBS 6:30 pm news on the same day.
One of the most significant aspect of the conference was that it was funded and organised by four organisations – Affinity Intercultural Foundation, Australian Intercultural Society, Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations and Catholic Commission for Ecumenical & Interfaith Relations with former two being Muslim and the latter two being Christian organisations. The theme of the conference was “Travelling Together” and the main topic was “Peace & Dialogue in a Plural Society; common values & responsibilities.” The conference day started at 10:00 am with a short official ceremony followed by performances from Christian and Muslim spiritual choirs. This was followed by the morning panel, which was chaired by Mr Chris Hartney and the afternoon panel, which was chaired by Mrs Zubeda Raihman.
The conference featured 5 Muslim and 5 Christian speakers from a number academic institutions and various organisations from around the world and those based locally in Australia. Among distinguished speakers, guests of honour were Prof Thomas Michel SJ, who is the Secretary of the Jesuit, Secretariat for Interreligious Dialogue in Rome, Italy, and Ecumenical Secretary for the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences and Prof Hayrettin Karaman, Professor (Emeritus) Islamic Studies and Law Marmara University, Istanbul Turkey.
The conference was successfully concluded at 5:00 pm.
A 5 hour (2 video tapes) version of the conference is available at $25 + $5 postage and handling. A 20 minute version of the conference is available at $15 + $5 postage and handling.
Prof. Thomas Michel S.J. Secretary of the Jesuit, Secretariat for Interreligious Dialogue in Rome, Italy, and Ecumenical Secretary for the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences
Sr Catherine Jones Lecturer at Catholic Education Centre, Wellington New Zealand
Prof. Umit Meric Prof (Retired) Former Head Of faculty of Sociology, Marmara University Istanbul Turkey
Eminent M. Ali Sengul Journalist/Thinker, Educational Activitist Turkey, Germany
Prof. Hayrettin Karaman Prof (Retired) Islamic Studies and Law Marmara University, Istanbul Turkey
Mr. Cemal Ussak Journalist/Theologist, Head of Inter-cultural dialogue Vice President of Foundation of Writers & Journalists Istanbul Turkey
Local (Australian) Speakers
Rev Helen Richmond National Director Multicultural Ministry for the Uniting Church
Read entire speech
Prof. Anthony H. Johns Emeritus Professor Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, former Professor of Arabic and Islamic History, Australian National University
Rev Patrick McInerney Parish Minister, Pakistan. Member of the Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations
Hind Kourouche Director – Islamic esource anagement
Chris Hartney Chairman of Religion, Education Outreach, Department of Studies in Religion, University of Sydney
Zubeda Raihman Executive – Muslim Women Network, Bursar, Macquarie University