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Exclusive Interview with Islamic leaders

2017-11-29

On November 17th, Abbess of Fo Guang Shan London, Venerable Miao Shiang, paid a visit to the East London Mosque and exchanged religious views. On December 25th, Dr Abdullah Faliq, Director of Research and Strategy at Global South, and Imam Fadel Soliman, Director of Bridges Foundation, will be attending the Love and Peace Concert of Prayers at the Great Enlightenment Auditorium in the Buddha Museum.




Below is a transcription of the dialogue among Venerable Miao Shiang (MS), Venerable Miao Lung (ML), East London Mosque CEO Nozmul Hussain (CEO), Dr Abdullah Faliq (AB) and Imam Fadel Soliman (FA):


Abbess, where is your base? (AB) 

Taiwan, but I was been Europe for 20 years, been to Berlin, Switzerland, Vienna and London.  (MS)

Your Buddhism is Mahayana Buddhism. Right? (CEO)

Yes (MS)

And this is our lay organization president Alex Lee, London BLIA president (MS)

What is BLIA? (CEO)

Buddha’s Light International Association (MS)

And your role (ML) is? (AB)

Dharma teacher (ML)

We are teachers ….hahahaha (CEO)

We also provide many different services to the community, like what I mentioned before, sharing love, sharing peace and help the mankind, and based on our religion. Since my next meeting is now, and hope we have chance to work together in future, ok, welcome again. (CEO)

The meeting today, is one of my idea, try to invite the Muslim to attend the “Love and Peace Concert of Prayers”, the idea has been approved by our Abbess, she is also the vice president of Europe district, and the BLIA president Alex Lee is fully support my idea. I’m glad that both of your Dr. and Imam agreed to participate in the annual event, this project funds is from London Foguangshan Buddhist temple. (ML)

We are happy to go there. (AB)

Yes, Taiwan is good place; my father was been there before. (FA)

Just went back London few days ago, here is the gifts for your “tea and dry mango” (ML)

Thank you! (FA / AB)

One things here, I’m Egyptian, and my visa is renew by UK Immigration Bureau, should be done by last month, but not return yet, that’s my situation. Without the passport, I cannot apply the Taiwan’s visa; hope everything will get better soon, I really want to go Taiwan, I wish I can go. (FA)

We still have time. Don’t worry! You will be fine (MS)

I will check the Taiwan Immigration Bureau about the visitor visa. (Alex)

“Love and Peace Concert of Prayers” is one of big event in Foguangshan, I saw the website, and you are international speaker, film maker and presenter of Islam. An Imam should do lots of work like you? (MS)

Hahaha….of cause not, I started the Bridges Foundation in 2005, aims to connect people from different backgrounds, especially between Muslims and non-Muslims. I’d like to associate with Buddhist; you are the peaceful people in the country. (FA)

We have done different interfaith in the world, especially the London BLIA Chapter. (Alex)  

Yes, we need people faith and all the faith leader come together, more sharing and join together, interfaith is important. (AB)

What we have to do, hands work together, and we should bring the Buddhism youth and Muslim youth together in here, in UK. (FA)

We can do something together with the topic of “love and peace” we can do that once a year. (AB)

We invited some of local Buddhist organization to join our activities in the before, they didn’t respond to us, maybe they are afraid of us. (FA)

Yes, we will do some interactive planning for the youth.  Soon (MS)

Actually, we are based on oxford circle; we are part of Westminster interfaith, we done many of interfaith for years. (Alex)

About the event in Taiwan, Imam has 5 minutes “Quran Pray”, Dr. has 3 minutes small lecture, both of your will be interviewed by major media press. (ML)

I know this is big event happened in year, and I will recite Quran and pray for Allah to bestow peace. (FA)

Coming weekend has one annual Service, named Medicine Buddha Service, will add one light with your name, and hope to get your passport soon. (MS)

Our founder Master wants to help the human beings with love and peace, may I know the teaching in Quran, what is “love”, what is “peace”. (ML)

Two types of love, love for the sacred God, and love which is not for the sacred God, and each one of them have two different types also, the highest one is love someone for the sacred God without any benefit from him, this life even the after. (FA)

You believe in the life reconnection. (MS)

Yes, we call this life is earlier life, and other one is “his after”, the after one is the most important than this life, because that is eternal life. (AB)

This life is also important, because you done the things here will be decided when you will be there. The best thing is that I love someone in this life for the sacred God, not want any benefit from him. (FA)  

Our funder Master invited different faith leaders to pray together, we are respectful to each other; it is good to have a variety of religions this time. (MS)

Don’t against each other and share the peaceful philosophy of the religion. (ML)

What is the main Buddhist School? (AB)

Theravada, Mahayana and Tibetan, three major Schools in Buddhist. (MS)

Which one is biggest one? (FA)

Mahayana (MS)

So Mahayana is made in Taiwan? (FA)

No, you can say develop in China, and spread to Korea and Japan, we are Humanistic Buddhism in Taiwan. (MS)

Cambodia is what School? (AB)

Theravada, and also Thailand, Sri Lanka and India, and what is your School in Islam? (ML)

Islam has two major Schools, Sunni and Shia, we are the Sunni, and over 90% Muslims are Sunni. We believe in one God, and God sends many massagers to different places.   (FA)

It’s interesting, I found some of teaching of the Buddhism is similar the teaching of Islam.  (AB)

For the peace, I always try to find the commonality between the religions, like your robe is similar like Ihram and Hajj. It’s make us more dialogue and discussion, wearing is good conversation start, we cannot say peace …peace …only, commonality will bring us together. (FA)

Be a Buddhist minister, when you have to wear the robe? (AB)

Our religion vow is life vow, and we wear our robe to go everywhere, walk in the street and attend the event, even stay at temple. (ML)

You are humbling yourself, it’s good. (FA)

I think we can do some workshop and talk about this, and done some fashion show and robe secret story. (AB)

Ok, so far we have many ideas can join together, and welcome you to bring more Buddhist to East London Mosque. (FA)

Thank you! (MS)

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