Forum: Of different faiths, but so normal for us to be together

We are from Heart of God Church (HOGC) and Khalid Mosque, and our organisations have been working on interfaith community projects together since 2016.

Still fresh in our minds is the news about a 16-year-old self-radicalised youth plotting to attack two mosques.

This letter is a sign of our solidarity. We have always believed Christian and Muslim youth can have strong friendships with one another.

In fact, on the day the news broke, some of us from Khalid Mosque and HOGC were meeting to plan interfaith activities.

We were stunned and dismayed that someone of his age would even think of such acts.

We reflected on the news and realised that it feels so normal for us to work together, even though we are of different faiths.

We know that it takes intentional effort to cultivate meaningful relationships.

We remembered how we would see each other regularly at interfaith projects, either as an organiser or a participant.

We would take part in joint blood donation drives and prepare care gifts for Covid-19 front-line workers.

HOGC and Khalid Mosque would also organise joint tuition programmes and football matches, so it was common to see youngsters from both the church and mosque poring over their textbooks together or emerging from a football field, tired and covered in dirt, but extremely happy. All these initiatives forged stronger bonds between us.

We hope what we have inspires others to build friendships with people of different faiths, and safeguard racial and religious harmony, so that such acts of terror and violence never happen.

Never has it been more vital to build bridges, not walls.

We need to create platforms for young people of different faiths to come together, understand one another and discover what we have in common.

For us, we have found not just a co-worker but also a friend and a brother in each other.

Alex Low, 18

Year 2 polytechnic student

Iman Yazid, 19

Year 2 Institute of Technical Education student


CALLING YOUNG READERS
 
If you are 21 years or below and want to share your opinion, 
e-mail your letter to stforum@sph.com.sg with the subject header “Voices of Youth”. Include your age, contact details and school level if you’re a student. Please keep your letter to 300 words.