Canadian envoy praises inter-faith amity in Qatar
29 May 2017 - 0:48
Ambassador of Canada to Qatar, Adrian Norfolk, has extended Ramadan greetings saying he is fortunate to be in Qatar where people of all faiths live in dignity and respect.
“We as Canadians are so fortunate to live in a country where people of all faith live in dignity and respect and where our diversity is celebrated as a source of our shared prosperity,” he says.
“I look forward to joining Muslim communities in Qatar in the weeks to come in observance of this holy month. On behalf of all Canadians, and the Embassy staff, Ruth and I wish all those observing Ramadan peace and blessings,” he added.
Having his first Ramadan experience in Malaysia in 1995, Qatar is the second Muslim country where he is experiencing the holy month.
Norfolk says that the coming together of people and their generosity towards those less fortunate is the remarkable observation he has made during the month of Ramadan.
“In addition to charity, I believe Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, self-improvement and forgiveness – above all, it is a time of community,” he added.
Norfolk also says that the month of Ramadan may dispel the misconception about Islam, “As vibrant Muslim communities across the world come together during this holy month of Ramadan, they are demonstrating the spirit of Islam.”
Islam is the second largest and fastest growing religion in Canada with over 1 million Muslim-Canadians. Muslims have been in Canada almost as long as Canada has been a country - the first census in 1871 reported 13 Muslims living in Canada.
“Muslim communities throughout Canada have made invaluable contributions that enrich our national fabric each and every day. Canadians across faiths practise their religion freely — free from interference and discrimination, and in a spirit of mutual respect. Canada’s cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths and sources of pride,” said Norfolk.
He added that relations between Canada and Qatar are warm and growing. “The people to people connections underpin this positive relationship based mutual respect for each other and cooperation towards shared goals,” he added.