Edinburgh, Nov 14 (BAN): The Edinburgh City Chambers played host to a very special event marking 30 years of the Edinburgh Interfaith Association.
Since 1989 EIFA has worked to promote positive engagement between the communities of Edinburgh. EIFA believe that through interfaith education and dialogue we can work towards a safe and more inclusive Scotland. It strive to bring people together to celebrate diversity, build meaningful and beneficial relationships and to represent the interests and needs of faith communities.
On Tue 12th - Baille Lezley Marion Cameron introduced the event and commented on the, “substantial impact that the Edinburgh Interfaith Association has had across the city,” bringing peoples of all faiths together, fostering; mutual understanding, trust, respect, co-operation and peace between the communities of Edinburgh.’ She listed many of the Associations engagement and dialogue programmes including work in schools and online tackling religious prejudice. She also mentioned that the Association has been a key partner in the founding of the Cities Faith and Community Forum (CFCF) a European forum for Interfaith Associations.
Professor Hugh Goddard the chair of the Association did a presentation on the history of EIFA tracing its roots including the contribution of its founder Professor Frank Whaling, Emeritus Professor of the Study of Religion and author of many leading publications including, ‘The World’s Religious Traditions.’
Prof Hugh also introduced the new board members of EIFA.
The Key note speaker was Professor Ian Bradley who took on us a 64mile journey exploring the Fife Pilgrim way and highlighting the importance of pilgrimage both historically and in the lives of people today. He drew out the distinctions between being a tourist a pilgrim.
Finally Shaykh Hassan Rabbani gave an example of the importance of pilgrimage in the Islamic tradition giving the example of Hajj and the positive influence of Hajj on pilgrims such as Malcom X whose experience there cause him to embrace a new found belief in equality of all races.
The evening ended with refreshments and the cutting of the wonderful 30 year EIFA birthday cake by the Executive Director Iain Stewart and Shakyh Rabbani. Here is to the next 30 years.
EIFA have worked to promote and facilitate positive engagement between the diverse faith communities of Edinburgh. EIDA now Scotland's longest running interfaith charity.