Muslim symposium helped to promote inclusivity, solidarity – PS Harper
In Guyana’s multicultural society, the contributions of the Muslim community are invaluable, and acknowledgment, recognition, and appreciation of the history of Islam promote solidarity and inclusivity.
H.E Ambassador Elisabeth Harper, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, made these remarks at the closing ceremony for the International Symposium on The History and Legacy of Muslims in the Caribbean, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on Tuesday.
The PS said that the symposium has served to highlight the resilience and determination of early Muslim settlers who have faced tremendous challenges in preserving their faith and traditions.
This symposium was the first of its kind in the Caribbean.
Hosted by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in collaboration with the Government of Guyana, the three-day symposium aimed to illuminate the rich history and legacy of Muslims in the Caribbean.
The event saw a convergence of scholars, researchers, and educators for fruitful discussions on the history of Muslims and their impact on the regional society, and their contributions to Caribbean history and culture.
“Their stories of perseverance and adaptability are a testament to the strength of the human spirit. We have also explored the connections between the Caribbean and the wider Muslim world, tracing the historical and contemporary ties that have shaped cultural and religious practices, trade networks and intellectual exchanges. These connections serve as a reminder that we are all part of a global community enriched by our intermingling histories and shared experiences,” she said.
Meanwhile, the symposium also underscored the importance of acknowledging and celebrating the diverse narratives within our societies, fostering a spirit of unity, tolerance and appreciation for religious diversity.
“By recognising the contributions of Muslims in the Caribbean, we promote a more inclusive understanding of our history and heritage. It is through these efforts that we can foster greater understanding and respect among all communities,”
She said that Muslims continue to play a vital role in shaping the social, economic and cultural fabric of Guyana.
“I am confident that the knowledge gained and the connections forged during this symposium will serve as a starting point for further research, dialogue and collaboration among academics, policy makers and civil society actors. Through their collective efforts we can continue to shed lights on the rich tapestry of Caribbean history and ensure that the contributions of all communities are recognised and celebrated,” the PS expressed.