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Interfaith dialogue to strengthen the world peace and stability, Al-Turki

Saturday, September 26, 2009 04:08:35 PM, News Desk

Muslim World League secretary-general Abdullah Al-Turki

(Arab News)

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Malegaon: Highlighting the significance of the interfaith dialogue initiated by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, Abdullah Al-Turki, secretary-general of the Makkah-based Muslim World League (MWL) said the conference would contribute to strengthening world peace and stability, reports Arab News, Saudi Arabia's leading English daily.


In a statement on the occasion of the fourth interfaith conference Al-Turki said the Geneva meet is a continuation of efforts that began in Makkah to promote interfaith dialogue.


The conference opens in Geneva on September 30 and will be participated by religious leaders and intellectuals from several countries.


“King Abdullah’s interfaith dialogue initiative aims at disseminating human values, promoting coexistence of the people of different faiths, spreading the values of peace and security, fighting evil in the world and promoting cooperation between communities,” Al-Turki said.


The MWL chief, who left here on Thursday for Geneva at the head of a high-level Saudi delegation to organize the conference, said the two-day event at Geneva InterContinental would discuss a number of papers under the banner “The Impact of King Abdullah’s Initiative in Disseminating Human Values.”


As many as 166 religious leaders, academics and other prominent personalities from around the world, including the US, the UK, China, Italy, India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Japan and the Philippines, will take part in the event, which is scheduled to be opened by the president of Switzerland.


In addition to the MWL secretary-general, Bandar Al-Aiban, president of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, and Abdul Rahman Al-Zaid, MWL’s assistant secretary-general, will address the opening session.


The research papers will include titles such as “King Abdullah’s Initiative and the Scope of Coexistence Among the Various Civilizations”, “The Role of Religion and Culture in Promoting Dialogue”, “The Impact of Religious Values in Reforming Societies”, and “The Role of Media in Strengthening Dialogue and Human Values”, says the Arab News report.


Rev. Metropolitan Emmanuel of the Orthodox Church will moderate the first session while Baba Jain, secretary-general of Millennium World Peace Summit, the second session, Salih bin Hussein Al-Ayid, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Saudi Arabia, the third session, Rabbi Steven Jacobs of Emeritus Temple in the US, the fourth, Yuzo Itagaki, chairman of the Islamic-Japanese Dialogue Forum, the fifth, and Prince Harith Shihab of Maronite Patriarchate in Lebanon, the sixth session.


The first interfaith conference was held in Makkah, the second in Madrid and the third at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The Makkah conference, which was held on June 4, 2008, brought together about 500 Muslim leaders from around the world in order to set an agenda for the building of better relations between Muslims and followers of other faiths.


On July 16, 2008, the MWL invited nearly 300 religious, political and cultural leaders from 50 different countries to Madrid.


“If we want this historic encounter to succeed, we must look to the things that unite us: Our profound faith in God, the noble principles and elevated ethics that represent the foundation of religions,” the king told the Madrid conference.


The participants of the Geneva summit include William Baker, president of Christians and Muslims for Peace in the US; David Rosen, director of inter-religious affairs at the American Jewish Committee; John Esposito, head of Muslim-Christian Understanding; Terje Roed-Larsen, director of the Institute of Peace; and Larry Shaw, chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Mohammad Hamid Ansari, vice president of India; Pramjeet Singh Sarna, president of Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib; Kuniaki Kuni, president of the Association of Shinto Temples in Japan; Xue Cheng, vice chairman of the Buddhist Association of China, writes Arab News.







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