Last month across the nation we celebrated Harmony Day as part of Diversity Week. It would be nice to live in a world where we no longer need a national day to promote tolerance in our culturally diverse country. Dreaming of such a world is exactly what Uniting Church member and author Nancy Hawkins (pictured) does in her newly released book, Dreams for a World in Harmony.
The book was launched in Docklands, Melbourne last month with a Buddhist, a Muslim and a Christian all speaking about the need for interfaith partnership.
Jane Lewis, senior advisor of education at Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, spoke of ‘white Australia disorder’ and the part each of us can play in challenging the prejudices around religion and race that cause division in our communities.
Dr Fathy Fares, author and university professor, spoke about the anti-Islamic sentiment in the West, emphasising the teachings in the Koran which advocate peace and tolerance of those who adhere to other religions.
The launch concluded with an address by Ms Hawkins in which she described her reasons for writing the book – for the generations of young people who have, she believes, been let down by the Church, and by a society that fails to amply accommodate and respect the variety of faiths that exist in our multicultural society.
Dreams for a World in Harmony is available for purchase from www.theworldinharmony.com.