While all of the world’s major religions preach the message of peace, unfortunately it is a reality that tensions do exist between the proponents of these religions. These will often manifest as religious controversy or inter-faith and intra-faith conflict. Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri however has been at the forefront enhancing understanding between the Christian and Muslim communities and building bridges between their respective followers. Through his personal statements, numerous lectures, rhetoric and publications, he has created an environment where the rights and sentiments of the Christian minority are respected by the wider community. And his message of tolerance and universal brotherhood and love is being propagated by Minhaj-ul-Qur’an centres throughout the world, with interfaith partnership and friendship being extended to all major faiths, and exchange visits organised involving places of worship, whether belonging to Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Sikh or Hindu denominations.
In line with the message of peace and tolerance taught by Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri, Minhaj-ul-Qur’an in Pakistan organises regular gatherings and joint programmes in order to highlight the mutually shared values of the Christian and Muslim faiths and promote inter-religious cooperation and harmony. Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri took the unprecedented step of allowing Christians to worship inside the Minhaj-ul-Qur’an Mosque, a bold and symbolic gesture in recognition of the right of freedom of worship of Christians and their friendship with members of the Islamic faith.
“Today, in the history of Pakistan and the Subcontinent, is the first time that a Muslim scholar has welcomed members of the Christian community, of which it is not possible to find a similar example. Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri has opened the doors of Minhaj-ul-Qur’an Mosque for us in which to pray. Dr Qadri has begun a new chapter in inter-religious relations.” (Bishop Andrew Francis, Chairman of Christian Coordination Council, 15 March 2002).
Christmas is of course a special time for Christians, and in recognition of this fact, Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri sends out Christmas cards to prominent Christian organisations and personalities, a unique practice among prominent Islamic scholars. Christmas programmes are held all over the world in Minhaj-ul-Qur’an centres attended by Christian bishops, priests and other dignitaries, a measure of the utmost regard for Christian faith and practice and a reflection of Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri’s message of religious tolerance and universal love and respect of humanity. Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri is the Chairperson of the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Forum, which was established on 9th November, 1998. Dr Qadri or senior office bearers of Minhaj-ul-Qur’an attend conferences and cultural or musical events organized by organization of other faiths promoting religious unity and interfaith dialogue.
Dr Qadri was recently the recipient of two peace awards from Christian Organizations recognising his contribution to the promotion of peaceful relations and dialogue between the Christian and Muslim faiths.