Interfaith Dialogue in Action at Singapore Soka Association
On June 3, Habib Hassan Al-Attas, imam and head of the Ba'alwie Mosque in Singapore, together with a delegation of some 30 people, including representatives from the mosque and the Muslim community, were welcomed to the Singapore Soka Association (SSA) headquarters for an inter-religious exchange. In past years, SSA representatives have visited the Ba'alwie Mosque for such exchanges and the two groups have participated in various interfaith events together.
After a guided tour of the headquarters, the group viewed a video titled Introduction to SSA and Mr. Tan Wei Lan, SSA vice youth leader, outlined the philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism and some of its key concepts. In the Q&A session that followed, participants asked detailed questions about the practice and significance of prayer in Nichiren Buddhism.
As gestures of goodwill and friendship between the mosque and SSA, gifts were exchanged. A reception held at SSA's Soka Women's Center provided further opportunity for dialogue.
Among the delegation were: Dr. Abdulghaffar Saeed A Bazuhair, cultural attache at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia; scientist Dr. Rahim Leyman from the Singapore government’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research; Hassan Ahmad, Chief Executive of Mercy Relief; Raman Daud from Berita Harian, a Malay language daily newspaper published in Singapore; representatives from the Chinese, Iranian and Sudanese Muslim communities; and youth members and volunteers from the Ba'alwie Mosque.
[Adapted from an article in June 15, 2012, issue of SSA Times, Singapore Soka Association (SSA); photos courtesy of SSA]