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Kuwait News Agency, Kuwait / Qatar inter-faith meeting cautions against cultural conflict

REL-QATAR-DIALOGUE-CONFERENCE
Qatar inter-faith meeting cautions against cultural conflict

DOHA, May 8 (KUNA) -- The Fifth Doha Conference of Inter-Faith Dialogue continued its activities here on Tuesday by sounding the alarm about the perils of cultural conflicts and clashes.

The conferees called for boosting and cementing mutual confidence and understanding among the three religions of Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

More than 150 scholars from the Islamic, Christian and Jewish faiths are partaking in the three-day event themed "The Spiritual Dimension of Faith and Co-existence of Human Societies".

The agenda of the conference is also expected to address a number of vital issues such as anti-dialogue radicalism, the image of Islam in the West, and divergent views and opinions on key religious issues.

Addressing a session of the conference on Tuesday, former Egyptian People's Assembly speaker Sofi Abu Taleb cautioned against the dangers of civilizational and cultural clashes, regretting that the world was witnessing several civilizational, racial and religious conflicts, a thing which widened the gape between governments and their people.

He criticized the arrogant way which rich countries and people deal with poor and developing nations, including their effort to glorify their civilization and impose their values and principles.

This has fueled national, religious and racial conflicts, he said.

Egypt's Al-Azhar University President Ahmed Mohamed al-Taiyb, who represented the Islamic side in the conference, said Islam is a religion that respects other religions and has never hinged upon the use of sword to spread its message.

Unlike claims by followers of other religions, the Holy Qura'n does not contain the word "sword", he rebuffed.

However, he pointed to common denominators among the three religions.

For his part, George Saliba, chief of Lebanon Mountains Diocese, who represented the Christian side, expressed dismay that peace, which everyone should come around as the wish of humanity as a whole, is not properly put in practice.

However, he was upbeat that such meetings would come up with favorable outcomes, hailing the essential role of mass media in bringing religious views closer by highlighting them.

Rabbi Samuel Cerat of the UNESCO, who represented the Jewish side, expounded on the religion of Judaism, including its ban on the killing of people or denying their freedoms. (end) att.

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