Knitting together in a sophisticated and brilliant manner, the Muslim World League in collaboration with the UN held a valuable intercultural and interreligious dialogue and panel discussion on “Building Bridges Between the East and the West.”
Held at the UN Headquarters in New York, the purpose of the meeting was to promote religious tolerance and understanding among the followers of all religions in the world.
The Muslim World League is offering a good explanation of how mankind can come together and relinquish hatred. It articulates both a vision and a reality that there are common universal goals that are shared, nurtured and protected by all religious believers all over the world.
Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, its secretary-general, is a superb intellectual and an honest, modest, candid, and intelligent person.
If these great efforts to perfect human nature and human behavior are successful, the difficulties of religions co-existing among other religions will vanish, and all these false prophecies which religious extremists propagate will remain limited to very few adherents.
Followers of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have a divine character to inspire them: A God who shines with wisdom, benevolence, and can do all his goodness to all people.
Despite this, religious extremists have unworthy conceptions of an angry God who is troubled by people who do not believe in what they subscribe to in terms of religious beliefs. Yet these delusions seem to arise neither from a divine inspiration nor from the conscious thoughts and messages of the prophets. They are simply the accidents of false dreams by religious radicals and extremists.
To defeat these wrong objectives, the genesis of a true spirit of respect and appreciation among religious believers has been inspired by the tireless effort of the league and Al-Issa. They are working according to the noble teachings of Islam and the ordinary laws of nature which are in accord with common sense and human wisdom. The recent meeting was a construction of a fascinating scene which had so many religious and civic leaders talking about how religions can bring peace to the world.
These leaders spoke about an index of religious tolerance. They rejected the thesis of the clash of civilizations. As one speaker said: “Interreligious and intercultural dialogue … cannot be reduced to an optional extra. It is in fact a vital necessity, on which in large measure our future depends.”
In addition, the distinguished speakers addressed the importance of communications, since miscommunication could lead to crises occurring at different levels of society. The negative consequences of climate change were also recognized as a source causing conflict among nations and communities.
It was also declared clearly that the divine and the human cannot be separated. You cannot be religious and at the same time be hateful of others who are not your co-religionists. Religious intolerance is an unworthy conception of God. It is a distortion of the genuine human nature that God has bestowed on us as humans. Religious extremism involves an imagery of things that is contrary and out of style with what God desired from creating the world and the universe.
The conference smartly noted that our difficulties of being a society affiliated with different religions arise solely from the structure of wrong beliefs. These wrong beliefs have nothing to do with the important messages which religions convey.
The whole question of religious fanaticism resolves itself into an inquiry of this false imagery of religious zeal. Where did it come from? Religious extremists vouch that it comes from God, yet the prophets never promulgated that God is an instrument of anger against other believers.
The panelists made the hypothesis that we as humans have now in our possession all that is necessary to make our world a better place. Religious and community leaders from different religions can consult each other; they can obtain good advice from each other. Courtesy and decorum among followers of different religions should be more familiar.
The conference portrayed intelligently the present state of critical thought. The human being is the medium of divine revelations, and accordingly the human mind works according to conventional wisdom. The human being works toward what is permitted to be good. Human beings can bring fulfillment to their lives when they accept others who are different from them, and by abandoning the wrong conviction that God is the source of the notion of rejecting others if they are not from their own religions.
Finally, the Muslim League and UN forced us to consider what is best about human nature. It raised many critical thinking and philosophical questions about human existence. When human beings do not discriminate between God on the one hand, and the individual on the other, humankind will move along the right pathway of history, and we can respond to the challenges confronting our lives triumphantly.
• Faisal Al-Shammeri is a political analyst. Twitter: @Mr_Alshammeri