Lahore’s drama festival promotes religious harmony

October 23, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-asia

Pakistan, October 22, 2016: Large crowds of students attended the opening on Thursday of a drama festival to foster strong bonds of friendship between followers of different religions.

The objective of the colorful two-day festival on Interfaith Harmony, Peace & Tolerance is to underscore these values and their need in today’s world, says a press release by Punjab’s Minorities Affairs Department.

“We wanted to promote social justice and respect of all faiths through arts. In some institutes, the students are being taught extremism through the syllabus. This event is an effort to show that religious minorities are also part of our society”, Minister for Human Rights and Minority Affairs Khalil Tahir Sindhu told AsiaNews.

Sindhu was speaking at the inauguration of the festival, which showcases 24 plays on various themes as well as a Sufi music competition. The festival will be followed by an awards ceremony today (22 October). Some 250 students from 23 schools will perform at the venue decorated with pro-minority banners.

“Not only will minorities get justice from our traditions, culture and Islamic teachings but this will also be a proof of our nobility and high morality”, stated a flex bearing the image of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, founder of the country.

According to Fareeha Arshad, additional director of Lahore-based Unique School, the themes of stage dramas focus on human rights and justice.

“Our first drama, Importance of Salt, was inspired by a holy book. During the period of Islamiyat (Islamic education), controversial issues are not discussed. We respect the religious sensitivities of all our students; it is a part of our policy,” she said.

Saeed Ahmad, a grade-five Shia student, said that most of his friends are Sunni Muslims. “I never thought about their religion. We play and study together. My father shuts down the TV or sends us out whenever bombings are reported”, he said.

– asianews

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