3 June 2020 - 12 Sivan 5780 - י"ב סיון ה' אלפים תש"פ
Asia Society Hong Kong Center hosts interfaith talk E-mail

Consuls general, locals, businesspeople and university students participated in an interesting dialogue at an Asia Society luncheon on 15 October. Entitled “Inter-religious Tolerance and Friendship: Jews and Muslims in Hong Kong”, the dialogue was moderated by Ronnie C. Chan, Chairman of the Asia Society Hong Kong Center and Chairman of Hang Lung Properties.

Attending the luncheon were the Consul General of Pakistan and the Consul General of Israel, who shared a table with Muhammad Arshad, Chief Imam of Kowloon Mosque, and Rabbi Asher Oser of Ohel Leah Synagogue.

Glen Steinman, a board director of the Hong Kong Holocaust and Tolerance Centre and one of the co-organisers of the event, gave an opening address, speaking about inter-religious tolerance and the importance of advancing understanding between people of different backgrounds.

In a world where religion sometimes appears to be a force of division, Hong Kong remains an oasis of inter-religious tolerance. Both Jews and Muslims each have vibrant histories in Hong Kong dating back to the mid-19th century. The two communities regularly organise events to further strengthen the bridges between them, including reciprocal visits to the Kowloon Mosque and Ohel Leah Synagogue, as well as regular interaction between religious leaders of each community.

Muhammad Arshad, Chief Imam of Kowloon Mosque, gave an update on the numbers and operations of the Muslim religion in the territory. There are currently around 300,000 Muslims in Hong Kong, and well over a third of them are Indonesians (mostly domestic helpers). There are five fulltime mosques and a further 18 temporary prayer places.

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