News Release

Interfaith Forum Focuses on Strengthening Families

Representatives from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Islamic faith met together recently to discuss ways to strengthen families.
A forum, initiated by Brisbane Latter-day Saint Dr. Matthew Glen and Javed Iqbal, General Manager of Seekers Point, was held on 21 June.

The event was organized as a question and answer session on the topic “Families as a divine trust” and was attended by members of both faiths.  A four person panel engaged in a meaningful dialogue about core principles and values that strengthen marriage and families.
The Muslim members of the panel were Imam Afroz Ali, the senior Imam of Ah-Ghazzali Centre for Islamic Sciences and Human Development; and Mariam Azahari, mother of two daughters and a teacher at Brisbane’s Islamic College. 
The Latter-day Saint panel members were Asa Smibert, president of the Church’s Brisbane Australia Eight Mile Plains Stake; and Jan Gray, president of the stake’s Relief Society organization. The moderator for the evening was the Islamic College Imam, Mohammed Azhari. 
Friendly relationships were quickly established, with panel members using the terms “brother” and “sister” when addressing each other.
Each panel member spoke about their experiences in developing values and core practices which were valuable in strengthening families in a modern, secular world.  
Subjects ranged from the Latter-day Saint Proclamation on the Family and the faith’s Family Home Evening program, to Afroz Ali’s description of how families can be strengthened through having a greater awareness of God and His purposes. 
Family prayer was also discussed as a means for strengthening family relationships.
The dialogue and personal interaction continued among the panel members and audience during a shared supper.


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