OIC human rights commission calls for respecting cultural and religious diversity

Updated 03 February 2018
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OIC human rights commission calls for respecting cultural and religious diversity

RIYADH: The OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) has called for respect for cultural and religious diversity to protect and promote human rights for sustainable development projects.
The IPHRC stressed the need for mutual understanding, cooperation and the need for dialogue among different faiths and religions and respect for diversity in all its forms, to achieve sustainable and equitable development for the creation of peaceful societies.
In a statement, the IPHRC added that as societies embraced new cultures and diversity, there were obvious differences and frictions, which at times led to divisive political populism and extremism.
But despite the existence of cultural differences, the official added, the homogenizing effect of globalization has led to the emergence of a global culture of human rights values that brings people closer and eliminates harmful traditional practices for the common good of humanity.
“Hence, the respect for cultural diversity represents respect for the shared human values which form the bedrock of the universality of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” the IPHRC said.
The organization has always been committed to promoting and protecting cultural and religious diversity through dialogues and development among the OIC member countries and beyond, the official added.
The IPHRC strongly believes that cultural and religious diversity can be a powerful tool for sharing knowledge and overcoming differences between nations and societies. To this end, it calls for activating the media, in particular social media organizing bodies that have become effective platforms for forming public opinion.
The IPHRC is urging the media to use its influence to promote mutual respect and acceptance of diversity to build multicultural societies.
The commission is encouraging member states to actively involve women, youth and imams in promoting interfaith harmony, which will lead to better understanding and tolerance.
The commission has also emphasized that interfaith harmony is the cornerstone of achieving a lasting reconciliation based on peace and a sustainable development for inclusive societies.


‘I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi Arabia for years’: Akon tells Asharqiah crowd

Updated 23 March 2019
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‘I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi Arabia for years’: Akon tells Asharqiah crowd

  • “First thing tomorrow morning, I’m headed to Makkah to perform Umrah” Akon said 
  • He entertained the crowd with some of his most popular hits at the Asharqiah Music Festival

DAMMAM: American rapper Akon captivated a packed crowd at the Asharqiah Music Festival on Friday, opening up the second night of musical festivities at Sharqiah Season with a special shout-out to Saudi Arabia.

“You have no idea, I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi for years, man,” Akon said, before launching into his song, “Gunshot.” Later, he told the crowd: “I’m seeing a tremendous change in Saudi Arabia here tonight."

At 8 p.m., under a bright moon on a beautifully cool night, Akon began his set, delighting fans who had spent over 10 minutes chanting his name in anticipation of his arrival.

He entertained the crowd with some of his most popular hits, including “Smack That,” “Mr. Lonely” and “Sorry: Blame It On Me.” And he wrapped things up with “I love you, Saudi... thank you for making me feel at home."

Backstage before the concert, Akon told Arab News how excited he was to be in Saudi Arabia for the first time. He was especially excited to visit one Saudi city in particular.

“First thing tomorrow morning, I’m headed to Makkah to perform Umrah.”