Interfaith forum to address intolerance

Published 9:04 pm Friday, March 31, 2017

A Selma doctor is hoping an interfaith community forum will bring the community closer together and stop religious intolerance.

Dr. Amjad Butt, a cardiologist in Selma and a practicing Muslim, is leading the forum, which is from 1-2 p.m. at the Islamic Foundation Community Center, located at 717 J.L. Chestnut Jr. Boulevard.

“Basically this initiative is interfaith, interracial harmony, peace and love, and what is going on against different ethnicities as well as different faiths and beliefs in the current atmosphere in particular,” Butt said. “I had this idea myself because I am a physician. I treat people, and I want to do good for my community.”

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With so many different religions and denominations in Selma, Butt said if they can come together they can all make a difference.

“We have to stand up, and we have to do something. We cannot do anything until we’re all together,” he said. “Let’s come together on the commonalities that we have together. Let’s leave the differences. That’s between you and your God, your creator.”

Butt said there are a lot of misconceptions about Muslims that are spread through social media and the internet, and he wants to show that what people may hear or see is not true.

“We have to stand against the bigotry, injustice and prejudice, which specific people with agendas are spreading amongst the innocent people,” Butt said. “We are part of this community, and we have no problems here, but we want to raise this voice in other parts of our country because of the current situation is becoming worse and worse.”

Butt said if people of different religions and ethnicities can come together in Selma, it can serve as a model for other cities around the world.

“Let’s come together, work for the peace and love,” Butt said. “Let’s stop the bigotry and prejudice. Let’s get our Selma on top of the map. Let’s teach the rest of the nation that if we can do it, you can do the same thing.”

Congresswoman Terri Sewell, Mayor Darrio Melton, Police Chief Spencer Collier and religious leaders in Selma are expected as guests, according to Butt.