Friday, January 1, 2010

The Imam and the Pastor

From vengeance and killing to healing and forgiveness…
a moving story of grass-roots peace building that gives hope to humanity

This 39-minute documentary film brings to life the astonishing reconciliation between Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye, and their peace-making initiatives which have ensued. They were leaders of militant groups involved in conflict between Muslims and Christians in Kaduna, northern Nigeria. Pastor Wuye lost a hand while Imam Ashafa's mentor and two close relatives were killed in the fighting. Now they are taking bold initiatives to promote co-operation and resolve conflicts. The film, narrated by Rageh Omaar, shows that it is possible for the perpetrators of inter-religious violence to become instigators of peace. It is a story of forgiveness and a case study of grass-roots initiatives to rebuild communities torn apart by conflict. Imam Ashafa and Pastor Wuye are the joint founders and directors of the Inter-Faith Mediation Centre in Kaduna.

This is one of the most touching documentaries that I have watched in recent years. I am grateful to Nur Damai efforts for presenting this film at the forum organized by SABM.

Many of you may not have heard of SABM (Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia), and most of you would definitely have not heard of Nur Damai. You may ask - what is the relevance of two almost unheard of organization in the current world situation?

Lets not fool ourselves. The current world situation is in chaos and rapid decline. Many people are moved to do unexpected and unusual things. Two years ago I would not have guessed that I would one day be involved in political rallies and candle light vigils, not to mention blogging.

The effort of an individual person - or any isolated group of persons will not be able to achieve much. But recently there have been an explosive growth in civil consciousness, fueled by the explosive growth of the Internet. Millions of civil societies sprung into existence all over the world in recent years; and they represents the voices of the common people yearning for a change in the current corrupted and corrupting mode of existence.

This is the People Power movement at the global scale. What is required now is for a core group morally enlightened and fearless leaders to step forward to take charge and lead the change. It will happen as a matter of necessity for our collective existence.

Reconciliation and cooperation, as exemplified by this touching documentary, is my new year wish for the coming decade.

Nur Damai means Light of Peace. It is about Multifaith Peacebuilding - the essence of which is inter-communal reconciliation and healing of memory among Malaysians.

Next Showing of the "Imam and the Pastor"

SABM has graceful agreed to host another showing of The Imam and the Pastor on Saturday, 9th January 2010 at 7.30 pm at Rumah Anak Bangsa Malaysia.

Please contact faridajivamala at for more information.

1 comment:

Crankster said...

Good one. Thanks for helping to publicise this.