A group of about 40 people gathered at the Ponsonby Mosque to celebrate the launch of the Charter for Compassion on 15 November. The meeting was organised by Aarif Rasheed representing the Rasheed Memorial Trust and Dave Moskovitz representing the New Zealand Jewish Council and the Union for Progressive Judaism. The meeting began with a brief text study from the Gospels, the Torah, and the Koran on the role of central role of compassion in our three religions. The group then worked together brainstorming ideas for projects to raise the profile of the Charter and compassion in our own communities.
The Charter for Compassion is a short document reinforcing the importance of the golden rule: treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. The Charter calls upon all men and women to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion; to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate; to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures; to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity; and to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings - even those regarded as enemies.