United In Faith
Local Resident Creates Fishers Multi-faith Community for Compassion to Bring People of All Faiths Together
Ahmad, along with some friends, has been creating a group that unites people of Muslim, Hindu, Christian and Jewish faiths and breaks down the barriers of religious stigmas.
Ahmad came to the United States 20 years ago from Pakistan and loves this country.
“The U.S. is great. I love its freedoms,” he says. “But I have a passion to take those freedoms to the next level and bring diverse people together to do projects, break down barriers and silos and give them a chance to intermix.”
The pull to create a multi-faith community became stronger for Ahmad when his daughter expressed that she felt uncomfortable about revealing her Muslim faith when asked about it by a classmate.
“We have to eliminate that stigma in people of all ages,” he says.
The memory of his brother being killed most likely because of his involvement in a small, persecuted religious minority is heavy on his mind as well.
So, for the last six months, Ahmad has spent time considering an appropriate name, listening to other people and their ideas and coming up with a plan. He sought plenty of inspiration from a close friend and Pastor, Jerry Zehr. Zehr created a similar group in Carmel called the Carmel Interfaith Alliance. The group’s goals are similar, but Ahmad wanted the name to be different and to reflect a growth in the presence of interfaith groups in many communities.
Ahmad has already launched the first steps for creating the group and already has 20 adult members. Mayor Scott Fadness met with a group of faith leaders in September, expressing his support for the Fishers Multi-faith group. More than 50 people showed up for the September breakfast with the mayor.
Ahmad has also held Meet Your Neighbor meetings, inviting speakers of different faith communities to address the crowd and give them an opportunity to learn about different faiths. That paved the way for one-on-one meetings in which two people of different faiths are paired to discuss their faiths and grow in understanding and compassion.
“This is all about diversity and giving people the opportunity to meet other people of different backgrounds, promoting peace and building a better city for the next generation,” Ahmad says.
As the group grows, more meetings and projects will be held for people of all age groups.
“We encourage people of all faiths to become involved, even those who don’t attend church or have a faith to call their own,” Ahmad says. “Everyone has a seat at our table.”
Ahmad plans to spread the word about the Fishers Multi-faith Community for Compassion with the help of faith leaders and churches in the community. They’ll also spread the word about upcoming events and meetings on their Facebook page, Twitter and website, which is coming soon.