A PEF interfaith graduate from Abbottabad expressed his view that “I don’t like to meet followers of other sects. Once, I was attending a social program, one of the Shia member of my community came and sat down with me for lunch. I felt detestation for him in myself and left the program; because I had prejudiced views, and had narrow acceptance for the people of my sect only”.
Now I felt it was great moment for me when I was first time invited by PEF through one of my friend’s recommendation to attend capacity building training workshop for faith leaders. After a long interaction with the people of the others sect and religion, I re-correct my biases about the other sects and religions. It also made me realize that I have wasted enough time in creating hatred, intolerance, violence and promoting my sect-based version of Islam.”
With this transformation, our alumni is now a very influential leader in his community, inspired by inter and intra faith mission of PEF, having motivation to promote this learning and reformed behaviors in his community. He conducted two community engagement workshops in his area and engaged all Muslim schools of thought, teachers, social workers and students in these workshops. The people of his community were wondering and shared their point of view about him with the PEF facilitator that “before he didn’t even like to shake hands with the people of other sects, but now he has invited them at his home to attend small gathering on peace building.” He thinks this PEF initiative is only ray of hope that can bring sustainable peace in Pakistan and promotes love, brotherhood and justice within the society. He and some other local religious leaders of his area requested PEF to arrange similar workshops for the benefit of larger community. Considering the need of hour he also invited some leader of infamous sectarian organization in his programs that is known for spreading faith based violence in Pakistan.