Cultures unite in wake of terror

Award-winning Muslim artist Tusif Ahmad is displaying his unique artwork at St John’s Anglican Church in Fremantle to support those affected by the Christchurch shootings.

Artwork displayed at the exhibition. Photo: Jonathan Fernandes.

“Papercutting Art” showcases an ancient tradition adopted by Mr Ahmad, in which he embeds various aspects of Islamic culture and symbols in his message to spread peace, love and unity.

The art exhibitions are being displayed across the world to try to bridge the gap between different cultures as well as promoting key conversations about Islamic traditions and educating viewers through art.

With the recent shootings in New Zealand, Mr Ahmed said his choice to display the artwork at a church is to show unity in times of terror.

“We have seen one side of the world, the hate. But we should see the other side, which is love,” he said.

“My artwork represents the message that love is more powerful than hate.”

St John’s Anglican Church Reverend Patrick King said hatred towards cultures is normalising division.

“We must attempt, very decisively, to normalise unity and doing things together, despite religious differences,” he said.

“It’s to hold differences together and recognise what we share, while not compromising the integrity of what we believe.”

Artist Tusif Ahmad and Reverend Patrick King. Photo: Jonathan Fernandes.

Mr Ahmad said schools should teach the history of Islam to better recognise differences.

The artist is also grateful the Church acknowledges the Muslim community.

“There is not much education in Australian schools about Islam,” Mr Ahmad said.

“If kids have the knowledge about our culture and people, they will not divert to hatred.

“Why not bring the kids to churches or mosques to provide the opportunity for future generations to build a better community?”

Mr Ahmad holds workshops to educate and teach people the art of paper-cutting and its Islamic history.

The exhibition will be held until March 24, followed by a silent vigil remembering the Christchurch victims.

The art exhibition. Video: Jonathan Fernandes

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