Riyadh - SPA
World Center for Dialogue Co-found Islamic-Jewish Council, in Europe, to Counter Extremism
King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) announced launching of a European dialogue platform: (Islamic-Jewish Council), which brings together members of Islamic and Jewish institutions, in Europe, to contribute to the consolidation of co-existence, fight against intolerance and hatred, in various European societies, and to live in security and safety, in the context of shared citizenship.
This comes within the framework of talk platforms, in different parts of the world, in order to consolidate institutional work; build bridges between diverse religious individuals and institutions; to contribute to consolidation of co-existence and respect for diversity and peace-building, in the light of common citizenship, as the first of those platforms have been kicked off, in Africa, Central African Republic; Nigeria) between Muslims and Christians, then in Asia (Myanmar) among Buddhist and Muslims; and thirdly in the Arab countries.
The platform of Arab dialogue and cooperation between Muslims and Christians, launched last February, at the World Conference on Dialogue to provide help and support to policy makers.
Muslim-Jewish Council have begun preparatory meetings for its establishment in the Austrian capital Vienna, in the 11th of September 2015, with the support of the World Center for Dialogue and other global institutions, as the first European platform bringing together Muslims and Jews, to counter intolerance, extremism and hatred, whose features appeared, in some European societies, by extremist groups, in order to confront extremism and correct images, build trust and cooperation between local communities, promote protection of rights and freedoms and co-existence under shared citizenship.
The focus of the European dialogue platform to exchange experiences and coordinate efforts and cooperation with European organizations for the maintenance of rights and cooperation, as all that contribute to the achievement of security and safety, in their European communities; as it is the first platform of its kind, at the European level between Muslims and Jews; aiming to protect religious freedom and to work within the constitutions and laws, to preserve the rights of diverse religious groups; to support coexistence and to combat intolerance and extremism.
In that context, an international European meeting was held yesterday with participation of the European Council, the Municipality of Amsterdam and a number of international institutions, in
which high-level figures participated, under the auspices and support of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz World center.
The meeting was co-opened by the Secretary-General of the center Faisal bin Muammar and, Mayor of the North of Amsterdam and Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary-General of the European Parliament.
On the other hand, Faisal bin Muammar hailed Amsterdam's long-standing commitment to diversity, co-existence and the preservation of rights, as he addressed the gathering, adding that such a stance, is making it an appropriate venue for this meeting, congratulating the members of the council on their commitment and enthusiasm to establish this forum.
He said that the participation of Amsterdam in this Council, fills a large gap in European relations between followers of religions, stressing that the World Center for Dialogue, in Vienna, shares their commitment to the goal of promoting dialogue between followers of religions and cultures, in the world, including: the Islamic-Jewish Council, in Europe, since the start of the preparatory meetings laying ground for the establishment since 2015.
World Center for Dialogue provided support and support with its expertise and high-level competencies to build platforms, he stated.
The Center, an international organization established by Saudi Arabia, with the participation of the Republic of Austria and the Kingdom of Spain, as well as the Vatican, as a founding member of the Observatory, in 2012, aims to foster dialogue and coexistence, respect for diversity, building of bridges of cooperation and understanding among diverse communities.
Center's work is organized by an administrative board of Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus executives.
Most important contents emphasized by the Center's dialogue strategy, include: belief that religion is a strong factor of affiliation in the cases of integration and marginalization; this factor should be considered, in order to make policies that concern social cohesion issues, he pointed out, stressing that societies with their institutions and religious affiliations have the right and responsibility to work together and to build cohesive, peaceful and equal rights communities, indicating that the best way to do so is to empower religious groups themselves: to build safe spaces or platforms to work together, to engage in open and frank dialogue with one another, in order to promote their mutual co-existence, which contributes to building bridges to support policy makers, in the light of common citizenship.
"We have pushed this faith to support and back up dialogue platforms between the followers of religions, in Nigeria and the Central African Republic, between Muslims, Christians, and in Myanmar among Muslims, Buddhists and recently in the Arab region between Muslims and Christians", he explained, adding that "we are pleased to provide good practices and lessons learned from building these platforms to help create such platform, including Muslims and Jews".
Needing more than ever to take advantage of successes and address problems in the relations between religious groups and harness the results of these relations, we have to protect them from fanaticism, extremism and hatred that these groups, in Europe face. he said.
These people need your expertise and wisdom, if they are to maintain their commitment to equality in citizenship, and respect for diversity, as do the rest of the world, which views the continent of Europe as a distinct model, and to your wisdom to protect the culture of respect for religious identities, protection of the universal right to human beings, protection of freedom of religion and belief and the fight against intolerance and extremism, which is a fundamental pillar of the European continent, he added.
In addition, to ensure continued recognition of the role of religious traditions, in preserving our common heritage; to defend the common rights of religious groups, in Europe; and to build confidence and cooperation among diverse societies, he further said.
Stressing the importance of joint action through channels of dialogue and understanding around the world to curb fanaticism, extremism and hatred, which took various forms by using religion and religion as an alternative, or through political and ideological extremism, which has become a clear feature in the speeches of extremist political parties, he stated.
Secretary-General of the World Center for Dialogue reaffirmed that the role of the World Center for Dialogue is to provide assistance, expertise and means of cooperation, as required by the Council and look forward to working with them, during this meeting, to develop their work plan for the near future.
Supporting its implementation, he pointed out that the members of the platform of Muslims and Jews reached (19) of Muslim religious leaders and (15) of the religious leaders of the Jewish (18) European countries, representing accredited European institutions.
The themes of the agenda included: the Dutch model of coexistence; the protection of the religious practices of our societies, in Europe; the experience of Muslims and Jews, in Europe, with followers of other religions and cultures; challenges and obstacles; and the best ways to promote solidarity among communities and achieve common goals.
It is hoped that the Islamic-Jewish Council (IJC) platform will become a sustainable and just milieu for joint action to promote Muslim and Jewish humanitarian co-operation and cooperation: to promote humanitarian co-operation and improve cooperation between Muslim and Jewish European communities and their relationships with European political and religious orientations.