Forest Gate school invites religious communities to multi-faith event

Safiyah Asim, 10, Hareem Malik, 10, Maryyam Shabbir, 10, Aribah Naqvi, 10, and Leila Khawari, 11, at

Safiyah Asim, 10, Hareem Malik, 10, Maryyam Shabbir, 10, Aribah Naqvi, 10, and Leila Khawari, 11, at the United in Faith exhibition - Credit: Kanwal Shafiq

An exhibition celebrating the the diversity of faiths in Newham – and their commonalities – has been hailed a success.

Religious leaders and parents at the Quwwat ul Islam Girls school event

Religious leaders and parents at the Quwwat ul Islam Girls school event - Credit: Kanwal Shafiq

The United in Faith event at Quwwat-ul-Islam Girls’ School was attended by more than 100 people on Friday last week.

Guests included local priests, imams, rabbis, and gurus, as well as pupils and parents from the school.

Chair of the school’s Parent -Teacher Association (PTA), Ms Kanwal Shafiq, who also organised the exhibition, said attendees “all left very happy”.

She added: “The idea is that we all get together and learn about our different faiths but also see what actually unites us and keeps us close and happy in this lovely multicultural area.”


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Various boards were displayed around the room to educate visitors about the different religions practised within Newham including Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism.

Ms Shafiq said: “Leaders were really impressed with all the displays and said they were really accurate.”

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A “what unites us” board also showed guests the similarities between religions with statements such as “respect of elders”, “keeping God in mind” and “speaking kindly”.

Imam Abdur Rahman Anwar said the event was a “great idea”. He said: “I was pleased to have been invited and involved. It was lovely to meet everyone from the school and meet with the other guests.

“Learning about each other and respecting each other goes a long way.”

His sentiments were echoed by Maljit Singh from Ramgarhia Sikh Gurdwara Temple in Forest Gate.

He said: “We learnt a lot and we’re so happy to have met everyone, we felt very welcomed and hope this is a lasting friendship.

“The school is welcome to the Gurdwara anytime.”

Ms Shafiq said that in addition to being a good get-together, such events were a way of promoting “positive and helpful role models” within the community and a way of “educating our children with these same morals and values too”.

She added: “We should treat each other with respect and kindness.”

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