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Posted On: 21 October 2009 12:04 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:10 pm

Engage in poverty, climate change talks, says minister

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The increasing gap between the world’s poor and the rich, rising moral degradation and environmental disasters should be the motives to start constructive dialogue between the three religions - Islam, Christianity and Judaism, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs HE Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmoud said yesterday. Addressing some 170 delegates to the Seventh Interfaith Dialogue in Doha, he said the six previous conferences contributed, to a large extent, to break the sociological barriers. The minister said that religions were required more than ever before to show solidarity with each other and to take “bold” steps to save humanity from wars, poverty and destruction that “we witness nowadays.” Al-Mahmoud acknowledged that the dialogue between the three religions is facing “difficult challenges”. The secretary general of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Prof Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, said that the three religions had common grounds to start a dialogue as a way of tolerance and to solve problems among the people. He said that Islam never imposed itself on the followers of other religions and encouraged to hold a dialogue. Ihsanoglu renewed his appeal to make a historical reconciliation between Islam and Christianity, similar to that which took place during the last century between Judaism and Christianity. The OIC chief reminded the gathering of the “massacre” which took place in Gaza earlier this year, saying that what happened there was beyond all humanitarian values and conventions. He called upon the world leaders to bring the perpetrators of these atrocities to book. He said that what Israel did in Gaza had deepened the hatred and “instigated animosity and increased violence, extremism and terrorism.” The president of the Council of French Jewish Institutions, Bernard Kanovitch, said the slogan of the meeting, “human solidarity”, was timely because we have one God. He said that what the prophets preached should be a common ground for the follower of the religions. Kanovitch said that representatives of the three religions should leave politics for politicians and the scholars should talk to each others. “The culture of tolerance and knowing others should prevail in order to solve the problems.” Archbishop and secretary general, Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, Vatican, Pier Luigi Celata, said that people should integrate, co-exist and establish political, economic, cultural and social ties to spread an atmosphere of equality and tolerance among world nations. The dean of Shariah College at Qatar University, Aisha al-Mannai, stressed the importance of co-existence and the acceptance of others through dialogue.