Dr. Al-Issa: Education incubators are at the forefront of strengthening the spirit of citizenship and the educational curriculums in countries of diversity must address everyone in methods supporting harmony and peace
The Secretary General of the Muslim World League, Sheikh Dr. Muhammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, asserted that citizenship is a political and social contract in accordance with the provisions of the constitution, order and voluntary sentiment inspired by the family and education, which are bet on in achieving citizenship values.
In his speech at the Comprehensive Citizenship Forum held in Abu Dhabi, with the participation of religious, intellectual and political figures, Dr. Al-Issa said, "When citizenship programs adopt their principles as an ethical value within the fabric of a society, they have the desired fruits in facing the challenge of gaps and differences in societies of religious, cultural and ethnic diversity and campaigns of discrimination and hatred. With their shallow thought and risking the stability of their countries in a time that is supposed to have exceeded, with its religious and civil awareness, such barbaric acts."
Dr. Al-Issa added that it is logical to talk about solidarity responsibility on the subject of citizenship as a key pillar in building societal harmony and peace as a common denominator among everyone and that cannot be violated under any pretext. Competent government institutions should promote this value, and it is wrong to accept any justifications from individuals or institutions that threaten the fence of national unity. In turn, legitimate freedoms must be protected, especially those strengthening and supporting citizenship.
The SG of MWL appreciated the idea of ministries of national integration in countries of religious and ethnic diversity, but it must be explained that some of them suffer from gaps owing to the lack of adequate participation of all national diversity in formulating their programs. Some of these independent ministries impose their own views on others, and so they are sometimes charged with failure, negative bias and racism. Also, perhaps some of these ministries have missed the societal presence in activities reinforcing real integration, as they are supposed to constantly broadcast serious and practical messages that emphasize their pride in their national diversity as a factor of building the future and its prosperity.
His Excellency added that one of the gaps that must be filled is not to provide the media with the opportunity to serve its partisan, intellectual, ethnic or material interests to the detriment of these national values that incubate and protect everyone. Followers of religious and ethnic minorities have sacrificed in the service of their countries that opened their doors to them and their ancestors. After that, extremism has come to provoke prejudices at the expense of these sacrifices, and at the expense of this unity with its social peace that, if violated, risks the protection of the most important pillars of the supreme national interest.
Dr. Al-Issa called on national integration programs to address any negative educational, religious, ethnic or other isolation, especially that calling for hatred and violence, or demanding the enactment of laws of discrimination, exclusion or indulgence with regard to the practices of job discrimination or the imposition of the majority culture on the minority, aiming to melt them, owing to the early alarms to the future of the national unity harmony and strength. This does not mean interfering with privacies and legitimate freedoms within the limits and provisions of the constitution, order and the supreme interest of the national state's peace and harmony.
Dr. Al-Issa stressed the importance of spreading awareness of rejecting the recall of historical events and trying them again. The previous history, political, religious or ethnic, is borne by its holders with all its consequences and is unfair and illogic to lay blame on others just because it is a religious, ethnic, geographical or political extension of those who preceded. God Almighty said: "That was a nation which has passed on. It will have what it earned, and you will have what you have earned. And you will not be asked about what they used to do."
His Excellency also said that the Islamic history has spoken logically when a group of historians described the so-called Crusades to the east as the Franks campaigns, but rather the name of "Franks" was even born after these wars. They are an ethnic and non-religious proportion. Those campaigns were not attributed to Christianity because they did not represent religious values of the People of the Scripture on one hand, and because on the other, they first started by Orthodox villages and fully exterminated them. On the third hand, Arab Christians united with Arab Muslims against those campaigns which we are certain that God Almighty is not pleased with their massacres and other tragedies, though they falsely raised the banner of the Lord to justify their expansion and political and religious dominance as part of their sectarian frame.
Dr. Al-Issa praised the historical and courageous attitude of Pope John Paul II who made an apology publicly about the mistakes of the Catholic Church in the past. Dr. Al-Issa added, "The question today is; are we hostile to the Church because of those errors? The answer comes fairly in the words of God Almighty in the aforementioned verse. This includes everyone in the history of religions as some of their followers have made grave mistakes, over a long period of time, in forcing people to embrace their faith, along with allowing political interests to pass through their religious cover."
Then, Sheikh Dr. Al-Issa reviewed the most important features of the joint citizenship road map in countries of diversity.