Universal Compassion on the menu at the third annual DC World Religion Conference

Saturday September 14 saw the 3rd annual WRC at the Kiwanis Performing Arts Centre.

Hosted by Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Canada, event coordinators Asim Haneef, Faiq Ahmed, and moderator Rob Brown. The non-profit’s slogan  is “Love for all hatred for none,” and has been distributing this message for approximately 15 years, traveling and holding conferences across Canada. 

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Speakers from different religions came together to share and understand the common message of all faith groups for compassion, peace, love, and harmony for all of mankind. 

Spokespersons sharing their religion perspectives included: Theresa Gladue, Aboriginal. Rev. Marilyn Caroll. Marissa Thola, Roman Catholic. Imam Basil Raza, Islam. 

With readings and scriptures from all spokespeople insight into the different religion’s were shared for the audience to contemplate. 

Theresa Gladue opened her presentation with signing and drumming a song called Chimaginnan which means have pity on/for us. (See Facebook page to watch) She stated “religion should be kindness, and as Aboriginal people we should get back to our spirituality connecting with the earth and the animals.” 

Second speaker, Reverend Marilyn Caroll stated “to pass judgement without heart is tyranny” and quoted the Charter of Compassion by Karen Armstrong. 

Third speaker, Marissa Thola stated “compassion values are shaped by our culture and the people around us.”

Fourth speaker Raza opened with singing a song verse from the Recitation of the Holy Qur’an. After a brief introduction to Islam religion quoting the founder of their community “kindness of heart for all of mankind” and stated “how do we make a difference? It starts with you.” 

Opportunity to ask questions without judgement was given to all persons present, for the engagement of learning through discussions. One question posed was: Can’t we be compassionate and have world peace without the need for religion?

Thola responded by stating “something contributed to compassion either it was your parents, values transferred, school, something formed you. I personally belief in God makes a person more compassionate than someone who does not believe in god.”  

Gladue also responded to the same question by stating “I grew up without religious structure and god was introduced to us through the residential schools, before that we lived in harmony with ourselves, the earth, and the animals having compassion…..so yes it is possible.”

Next year the conference will return to Dawson Creek hosted by the same organization. For further information please refer to Islamevents.ca or alislam.or


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