MANAMA- An international intercultural conference kicked off on Monday(May 5th) focusing on tolerance, religious and cultural diversity and peaceful coexistence.
The three-day Dialogue between Civilizations and Cultures Conference has attracted over 150 religious and cultural figures from several world countries.
In a keynote speech during the gathering, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayyib said Islam came up with a human civilization to open up to, and handle, all other civilizations with full respect.
Islamic civilization has reacted and communicated with other civilizations, he said, lamenting that the world has lost an opportunity for intercultural exchange between the west and the east due to the “extreme selfishness” of the western civilization.
Egypt’s top Muslim cleric suggested that the Kingdom of Bahrain continues to patronize the dialogue and interaction firstly between followers of Islamic doctrines to agree on common denominations before proceeding with national and Islamic unity shunning schismatic conflicts which should not be a substance that sows or creates strife amongst compatriots.
He expressed readiness to contribute to the continuation of the dialogue initiated by the Kingdom of Bahrain among Muslim scholars, and secondly to hold dialogue and interaction between the followers of heavenly religions and various civilizations.
Chairman of the Arab Thought Forum Prince Al-Hassan bin Talal said the conference comes at a critical time when violence and rhetoric of hatred and abhorrence prevail while dialogue disappears.
Rhetoric of hatred fuels tensions and triggers off conflicts, strife and wars, he said, adding that hatred affects all religions and sects.
On his part, Chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies Prince said all religions aim to ensure social peace, justice and equality.
He dismissed any attempt to link terrorism to any religion, given the fact that the sectarian and religious conflict is a major danger locally and internationally.
Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Iyad Madani warned that all heavenly religions and sects include extremists whose practices and behaviors have nothing to do whatsoever with religions.
He cautioned against intolerance and fanaticism, while calling for supporting efforts to bring people closer and to wipe out relevant barriers.-KUNA