LONDON, May 21 (APP)- President Asif Ali Zardari has said that Islam is a religion of peace and tranquillity and totally opposed to friction and terrorism.President Zardari, in his message to the International Imam Council,organisers of Syeda Fatima (S.A.) Interfaith Conference at the House of Lords here last evening, noted that such conferences highlight the real image of Islam being a peaceful religion and clear the confusion that Islam, in any way, favours terrorism.
The President said :”It gives me immense pleasure that Imam Hussain Council arranged an Interfaith Conference in recognition of Hazrat Fatima Tu-Zahra ( S.A.) , the daughter of our Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is a distinguished personality of the Muslim world.
“She is a shining moral example for all the women across the globe.  Her life, her teachings, her mannerisms and even her authority over her father, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is a precedent for us to follow even today.”
The President congratulated the International Imam Hussain Council for bringing all religions and sects together on one platform and becoming a significant instrument of harmony, love, tranquillity and brotherhood amongst all people.
The International Imam Hussain Council arranged the innovative seminar at the  senior chamber of the British Parliament, to encourage interfaith dialogue for the enhancement of mutual understanding and sectarian harmony. The seminar was attended by a number of parliamentarians, interfaith leaders and people from different walks of life.
Rich tributes were paid to women from Abrahamic traditions such as Lady Mary from Christianity and Bithia from Jewish traditions. In celebrating the lives of these glorious women they also focussed on important topics of forced marriages, importance of female education and women with rights.
Originally founded in Pakistan , the International Imam Hussain Council strives to promote unity through creating innovative platforms for heads of state, scholars and members of the public to come together and find creative solutions to the complex problems and threats facing our world. The diverse audience was made up of attendees from all of the major Ibrahamic faiths, as well as representation from Hindu and Seek communities.
The main speaker, Lord Alderdice, Chair of Liberal Democrats, said that women in following the footsteps of Hazrat Fatima (S.A.)  can build bridges not only between the Abrahamic religions but also between communities with no particular belief systems. He said there is a tremendous power to motherhood, children and family which perhaps gets lost in more complex cultures.
Lord Nazir Ahmed  said Syedna Fatima is a role model for women and a symbol of unity for the Muslims. He said he raised the issue of mosques which have been demolished in Bahrain and will call on the Bahraini Government to stop destroying places of worship.
Rubab Mehdi Rizvi, Chairperson of International Imam Hussain Council, in her welcome address  said the  gender based nepotism in history means that achievements from females are conveniently forgotten.
“It is imperative in our struggle for gender parity that such personalities are given their rightful place theologically and socially as they are an authentic source of law and ethics.”
She said role of woman in society today has reached the level of stagnation. Hazrat Fatima (S.A.) is a name capable of waking women into dawn away from the painful burdens of some man-made shackles. She sacrificed all she had for justice and was a sister to the poor.
Bishop Nick Holtam of Salisbury shared a story of two extraordinary women who visited St Martin’s from Israel Palestine. He said both these women had lost their sons but following the footsteps of Lady Mary, Miriam and Syeda Fatima (peace be upon them) embarked on a joint reconciliation women while the conflict is still alive. He says these are mothers such as these who can promote the cessation of acts of hostility and the achievement of a political agreement Senior Rabbi Mark Winer said, “Although I am not a Muslim, I am a dedicated student of the Quran, the Hadith, and the entirety of Islam.  Although I am a Rabbi and dedicated to teaching Torah, I am also an Islamophile, a lover of Islam and Muslims.”
Julian Bond of the Christian Muslim Forum said : “Reflecting on Fatima and Mary, they both had important messages, they challenged men’s words, actions and outlooks and had close family relationships with our founders – the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Jesus Christ”.
The conference was chaired by Yousaf Al Khoei, Director of Al-Khoei Foundation.