Toronto Muslims Hear Message of Reconciliation
03 April 2007

About 1,000 people attended a screening of The Imam and the Pastor in Toronto, Canada, on 1 April, in a special event to mark the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed (Mawlid an-Nabi).

The film, produced by Initiatives of Change's FLTfilms, tells of Nigerian Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye, who moved from leading opposing armed militias to working together for peace and reconciliation between their respective communities.

The occasion was organized by the International Muslims Organization of Toronto (IMO). The programme, which included speakers from all major faith groups, the Canadian parliament, the Ontario legislature and the city of Toronto, was given mainly to reflections on the life of the Prophet Mohammed. Imam Hamid Slimi of the IMO and newly elected President of the Canadian Council of Imams called on IMO member Osman Shum and Initiatives of Change representative Richard Weeks to introduce the film, remarking that they had been friends for close to 40 years. Osman said the film was an example of the spirit of forgiveness, demonstrated in the life of the Prophet.

The film was shown on two main screens and two supplementary screens to the rapt attention of the large audience (with full justice given to the sound track through a powerful sound system!) Following the film, Imam Slimi spoke about the serious injuries recently suffered by Imam Muhammad Ashafa in a road accident, and the miraculous intervention of a 'Good Samaritan' who had arranged for him to be flown to London by air ambulance. Allah had answered the many prayers that had been said for the Imam, including in this mosque. Imam Slimi asked those present to keep him in their prayers. “He’s doing good work for his people and for the world. We hope, inshallah, that Imam Ashafa and the pastor will be here one day at the IMO.”


It might be nice to show this in the Boston area.
Rodney Petersen, 05 April 2007