One Muslim, One Anglican, One Goal: Peace

The former Grand Mufti of Egypt, Dr. Ali Gomaa, and the Anglican Bishop of Egypt, Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis, were invited to give the keynote addresses at the inauguration of the Studies of Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Societies Programme (SRP) at the Nanyang Technological University, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore from 5-11 June 2014.  During their visit to Singapore, they shared their Egyptian experience in “working together as a way of promoting national unity in Egypt.

The President of Singapore, Dr. Tony Tan, received Dr. Ali and Bishop Mouneer and was keen to hear about the situation in Egypt, especially as their visit coincided with the installation of the new President of Egypt, el-Sisi.  He assured both of them that Singapore will stand with Egypt at this very important time.  The Prime Minister of Singapore,  Mr. Lee Hsien Loong, also received them and wrote in his Facebook page, “I could see that Sheikh Dr. Ali Gomaa and Archbishop Dr. Mouneer are good friends, working closely together to promote peace and harmony between Muslims and Christians there.

with the President

It is worth mentioning that Dr. Gomaa founded an NGO called “Misr El Khair” which is very much involved in community development work within Egypt.  Misr El Khair became a partner to the Anglican Diocese of Egypt in a number of projects including, “Fighting Reversible Blindness” and “Primary Health Care Outreach.”  These projects serve both Christians and Muslims in Egypt.  Dr. Gomaa said, “working together has a greater impact on religious harmony at the grass roots level than interfaith dialogue meetings.”  Bishop Mouneer said, “in spite of our doctrinal differences we can still work together for the common good.

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The Anglican Diocese of Singapore and the High Islamic Council of Singapore organized a seminar about “A Strong and Positive Interreligious Relations in a Pluralistic Society.”  Both Dr. Gomaa and Dr. Mouneer spoke and responded to many questions at this seminar.  It is known that Singapore is very keen on religious harmony as there are followers of at least ten different faith communities, and they have laws for religious harmony as well as a special council for religious harmony. The visit was widely covered by the media.  One of the articles written was under the title, “One Muslim, One Anglican, One Goal: Peace.”

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