Jannatul Maoa is a writer and an interfaith dialogue activist. She has 11 years of experience in working and dealing with people from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds. As a student of the Department of World Religions and Culture, Jannatul participated and voluntarily facilitated several interreligious dialogue programs arranged by the Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue of Dhaka University, Bangladesh. She has worked with various organizations like the International Association for Religious Freedom, Universal Peace Federation, and the Youth Group of Global network for Rights and Development.
She has presented many papers at several international and local conferences that have been published in local and international journals. In addition, she has published a book in Bengali on gender discrimination in religious contexts. Acknowledging her contribution to the field of interreligious dialogue in Bangladesh, the US State Department invited her to participate in a leadership training on interreligious dialogue.
Currently, Jannatul is pursuing research for her master’s degree. Her plan is to spread the message of interreligious harmony among children. She believes that dialogue between atheists and people of faith is also important. She also thinks gender discrimination in religion should be a topic of dialogue between women and religious leaders so that conflicting views can be discussed openly. For Jannatul, dialogue is not just a polite discussion, but about the development of new ideas.
Interreligious Activities and Initiatives
Women’s Global Initiative For Peace Through IRD
To increase women’s engagement in conflict prevention, management and peacebuilding through dialogue we will arrange capacity building training. Before that there will be a brief field study. On the basis of that study we will plan our training materials, method and evaluation process. Through social media we will connect the trainees from different regions of the world, so that they can share their experiences, resources and network after the training session also.
Beauty in Diversity
I have attended several Inter-religious and Inter-cultural In my country. But all of these programs were designed for the people above 20 years old. I believe including children and teenagers in Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue is very important. Usually, what they learn in this age last longer. It is very easy to motivate young minds towards good activities. In a country like Bangladesh, where most of the people tend to live in a compartmentalized group within a society I would like to make our children familiar with the people of other religions and culture living in the society. In my title I did not use any word (Ex. Interreligious Dialogue) which may give people a prior negative idea that we may teach the students about other religions. In fact I would not teach them about any religion or culture, my main aim is to make them familiar about cultural diversities around them. I also would like to make them feel that this religious and cultural diversity is beautiful; there is nothing wrong in it.