Visit to The European Parliament: Wednesday 1st June 2016
I was invited by Shaikh Abdulla, Undersecretary for International affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to join a small interfaith group (representing Sunni and Shia Muslims, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism and Bahai) to Brussels and the European Parliament to make a presentation on Religious Pluralism and Tolerance in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The Bahrain Embassy had clearly worked very hard to make this meeting a success and our message was warmly received. At a time when there is a lurch to the extreme right in Europe with an emergent narrow nationalism aimed at keeping out further refugees – the message from the Middle East of a community of faiths who are welcomed and respected was a refreshing and important one. We genuinely enjoyed one another’s company over meals and a trip out to see La Grande Place where we enjoyed a waffle and a hot chocolate. Brussels was as I have always remembered it; cloudy and raining for much of the time.