JEDDAH: The Conference on Peace in Revealed Religions, held at Oxford University in the UK, adopted a Muslim World League (MWL) initiative on positive national integration of religious and cultural minorities.
The conference — attended by a large number of religious, political and intellectual leaders — also adopted the MWL’s call to replace the term “minorities” with “religious and cultural special category.”
In his opening speech, MWL Secretary-General Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa said two problems arise when hatred, confrontation and material interests replace the principles of justice and peace: A moral setback regarding human harmony, and the attribution of this setback to religion.
Religion has nothing to do with errors, abuses or crimes committed in its name, and history shows that many crimes have been falsely committed in the name of religion, he added.
Al-Issa laid out initiatives and programs aimed at strengthening national harmony in various societies by consolidating the concept of national unity, which ensures respect for the constitution, law and culture of the state.
“It is necessary to converge views and raise awareness by involving all qualified national actors who have the ability and influence,” he said.
The act of disdaining followers of religions and cultures should be criminalized, and voices of hatred and incitement should be rejected, he added. All clash-of-civilization theories have failed, creating hope for understanding, awareness and harmony, he said.
Al-Issa called for the formation of councils and centers within national integration institutions, representing all societal sectors, with a view to organizing dialogue programs, promoting harmony and addressing all issues, including social and psychological ones.
His speech was followed by ones from Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah, president of the Muslim Peace Forum; Vatican representative Archbishop Kevin McDonald; Rabbi Norman Solomon; Dr. Farhan Nizami, director of the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies; and British diplomat Alan Monroe.