Talking in Public
about the possibility of dialogue and reconciliation

The Imam and the Pastor

The Imam and the Pastor

March 23, 2007 at 12:30 pm, room D287 MacLaurin Building, University of Victoria.

A discussion preview in advance of
Initiatives of Change Canada's BC Premiere on April 23, 2007, at Simon Fraser University

Film 40 minutes followed by discussion.

In the 1990s, Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye led opposing, armed militias, dedicated to defending their respective communities as violence broke out in Kaduna, northern Nigeria. In pitched battles, Pastor James lost his hand and Imam Ashafa's spiritual mentor and two close relatives were killed. Now the two men are co-directors of the Muslim-Christian Interfaith Mediation Centre in their city, leading task-forces to resolve conflicts across Nigeria. The Imam & the Pastor tells how they made this remarkable transition. See more about the film, including reviews and a trailer. Discussion facilitated by Catherine Morris

About the Film

The Pastor and the Imam premiered at the United Nations headquarters in New York on November 28th and was received enthusiastically by the 170 diplomats, UN officials and others. The film was shown in the UK's House of Commons on December 8, 2006. The film premiered in Nigeria itself on February 22, 2007. The Canadian premiere on February 26 was hosted by the Nigerian High Commissioner and attended by members of twelve diplomatic missions including ambassadors and two Members of Parliament The capacity audience included representatives of Anglican, United and Catholic Churches, the Muslim community, several other faith communities, and a number of NGOs. Play a trailer. More about the film.


"There's been no event like this in my twenty years at the United Nations" - Counselor from the Nigerian Mission to the United Nations, December 1 2006.

"Beautifully shot, visually evocative... its content is never less than thought provoking and carries potential lessons for us all." - The Herald, Scotland

"Theirs is an inspiring story, full of hope... A model for Muslim-Christian relations."- Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury

"It is one of the best documentaries on interfaith dialogue." Ottawa Sikh Society

"It's so refreshing, revitalizing and heart warming to see difficult issues taken on with truth, acknowledging their complexities, and showing that there are workable solutions if each human reaches deep in their heart." Member of Muslim Presence Canada

"... not a romanticised, feel-good film. It will hit viewers with the realities of a nation in conflict: the graves, the corpses by the roadsides, the fears, the uncertainties and the struggle to remain alive." - Shamsul Akmar, For a ChangeMagazine

About the Co-Sponsors of the Discussion Preview

Initiatives of Change Canada is the Canadian associate of a global network open to people of all nationalities, cultures, religions and beliefs who work toward change locally and globally, starting with change in their own lives. Initiatives of Change International is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. The University of Victoria Institute for Dispute Resolution is an interdisciplinary centre focused on dispute resolution theory and practice. Peacemakers Trust is a Canadian charitable organization dedicated to research and education on conflict transformation and peacebuilding.

About the Facilitator of the Discussion Preview

Catherine Morris, director of Peacemakers Trust, has been a leader in the field of conflict resolution since 1983. She is an Adjunct Professor and a former Executive Director of the Institute for Dispute Resolution at the University of Victoria. She is also an Associate of the Centre for Asia Pacific Initiates. She has designed and facilitated workshops and discussions in Canada, the United States, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar/Burma and Bolivia.

photo copyright Andrew Scambler
photo © Andrew Scambler

Talking in Public
Education and Research
on Public Dialogue

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discussion preview facilitated by
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sponsored by

Initiatives of Change Canada

and hosted by

the University of Victoria
Institute for Dispute Resolution

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