Rev’d Vicki Burrows shares the experiences of the congregation of Holy Trinity Church, Bramley, who invited the Diocese’s Faith Links Advisor, Kauser Akhtar to present an informative course on ‘the True Face of Islam’.
Seventy members of the parish came together with Kauser Akhtar to sit down and share a two course meal before Kauser presented a talk on ‘the True Face of Islam’. Kauser, who describes herself as a ‘Lancashire Lass’ lives with her husband, the Imam of the Shah Jahan Mosque, and three young sons in Woking.
Kauser is a Muslim and the Diocese of Guildford's Faith Links Adviser. Born in Lancashire (describing herself as a ‘Lancashire Lass’) she lives with her husband and three young sons in Woking where he is the Imam of the Shah Jahan Mosque.
"The evening was not only instructive but moving."
The evening was not only instructive but moving and we thought about how much of the estrangement between our faith communities arises from cultural differences rather than ones of faith - for instance the wearing of the hijab and the burka, with Islam, like Judaism and Christianity, teaching the virtues of modesty and chastity.
Kauser explained that whether a Muslim woman interprets that teaching by wearing a burka or a hijab, can be influenced by different conventions of local culture (e.g. Saudi, British Muslim, Pakistani, Egyptian, Indonesian and so on). Likewise the matter of a woman’s place in society: Islam doesn't make women inferior to men but in fact teaches equality, although in some cultures men are seen as superior. We heard passages from the Qur’an that show how Islam honours the place of women in the home and in society.
"Kauser spoke to us from the heart, from Islamic scriptures and the sayings of the prophet"
Kauser spoke to us from the heart, from Islamic scriptures and the sayings of the prophet. We came away feeling that the peace of the world would be the better secured if everyone who believes what they read in the sensationalist media about Islam were to hear her speak. Kauser is a force for peace and understanding; we cannot recommend her highly enough.
For more information about the work of the Surrey Faith Links or if you would like to host a talk, please contact Kauser at email@example.com