RIYADH: Nations needed to bring about an entente cordiale in relation to religious tolerance the secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL) told a French delegation visiting Saudi Arabia.
Addressing ministers, academics, and legal experts from France, Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa stressed the importance of countries respecting the religious rights of minority groups.
“Islam guarantees the values of freedom and human rights, but there is a difference between freedom on one hand and chaos, prejudice, violation of public order, abuse of national conscience, and infringement on public security,” the MWL’s secretary-general said during a lecture attended by the French delegates.
Al-Issa said it was vital for all nations to protect the religious rights of minority faith groups, and to channel them through legally set procedures.
He added that human rights were universal, but that there were differences of interpretation between countries or organizations.
Speaking about the unique nature of each Muslim country and their legal systems, Al-Issa noted that the International Islamic Unity Conference — held in Makkah last December and attended by more than 1,200 scholars representing 28 different Muslim sects — recommended not to export religious fatwas as each nation had its own conditions.
Al-Issa also pointed out that most problems originate from a lack of mutual understanding, an absence of dialogue, or the inability to understand God’s will expressed through the diversity of religions and sects.
He stressed the need to overcome these differences and not to allow the rise of psychological barriers that generated hatred and national conflict. Once this divine wisdom was understood and religious beliefs and constitutional laws were respected, then peace and harmony would prevail, said Al-Issa.