Preston group launches monthly meeting to break down faith barriers

Faith: Preston's Light Foundation organisers Arfan Iqbal, left, and Nadeem Ashfaq at the Quaker meeting house, where they will hold monthly discussion groups
Faith: Preston's Light Foundation organisers Arfan Iqbal, left, and Nadeem Ashfaq at the Quaker meeting house, where they will hold monthly discussion groups
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A group which aims to support Muslim converts and break down barriers between communities has launched a series of new monthly meetings.

The Light Foundation in Preston is holding the meetings every month and aims to remove misconceptions and talk about issues across the world in detail.

The Light Foundation was founded by Nadeem Ashfaq and Arfan Iqbal.

Nadeem, 29, from Deepdale said: “We hold regular meetings at the Quaker’s hall on 
the first Thursday of every month where people of all faiths and none are welcome to attend for the purpose of getting to know each another through our similarities and differences.

“This has proved to be very successful and with the current worldly issues, this is more important than ever.

“All dialogue is done in a respectful manner and we collectively discuss different topics as suggested by the attendees. We have people attending from many backgrounds including Muslims, Christians, Pagans, and Atheists.

“This month we discussed the topic of death and what everyone’s understanding is on this.

“The topic for February is on War and Jihad which has been an all too common headline in the media. Other upcoming topics include inspiration and creativity within faith communities, tackling environmental issues and euthanasia.

“There are many misconceptions on Islam and other religions, mainly through ignorance.

“Only through dialogue will we understand and remove false misconceptions which will hopefully strengthen us as a community.”

Nadeem added: “Our other project is providing support for Preston’s growing new Muslim community which is volunteer led and provides a much needed service for those turning to Islam.

“This ranges from understanding moderate Islam and answering questions on religious and cultural issues for the new Muslim and for their friends and families.

“Many of our volunteers are also converts and have been through this journey themselves and are therefore able to assist by sharing their experiences and unique perspectives.”