For immediate release

For Further Information contact:
Rev. David B. Smith
Phone: 9569-1255

Christian-Islamic Friendship dinner

'Fighting' Father Dave Smith of Holy Trinity Dulwich Hill and Sheik Mansour Leghaei of the Imam Husain Islamic Centre are will be holding the first ever local Islamic-Christian friendship dinner on Friday December 9th.

Father Dave says, "Islamic people in our community are increasingly experiencing discrimination, and we need to take this very seriously. I believe that most of our prejudices are based on misconceptions. If we can spend time together, talking and listening to each other, I believe that we can build better relationships, based on mutual respect and understanding."

The "why can't we be friends?" friendship dinner will be held on Friday, December 9th, beginning at 6.30pm. We will be using the community hall in Seaview Street, Dulwich Hill. Everyone in the community is invited, but given the limitations of space, the numbers will be limited to the first hundred or so who respond.

A number of local community leaders are expected to attend, including Cr. Sam Byrne, the Mayor of Marrickville, and other members of the Council. The Anglican Bishop of the Region, Rt. Rev. Peter Tasker, also plans to be in attendance.

The format of the evening will be simple. After a light meal, both Father Dave and Sheik Mansour will address the gathering, giving a brief outline of the faith of Christianity and Islam respectively, after which there will be time for questions. The emphasis of the evening will really be on encouraging informal sharing and discussion between all those who are attending.

There will be no formal charge for the evening or for the meal, though donations of $10 will be gratefully accepted. If donation exceed costs, the left-over will be split equally between Trinitys Youth Centre and the youth work of the Imam Husain Islamic Centre.

Father Dave says, "We fear what we do not understand. I hope that by getting together and sharing a meal, we can begin to build bridges of communication that will dispell much fear and prejudice."

To register your attendance at the dinner, or to speak further to Father Dave or Sheki Mansour, call: 9558-1114 (Imam Husain Islamic Centre) or 9569-1255 (Holy Trinity Church)