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The fifth conferences inaugurated at Doha Marriott hotel on 7 May,2007 with more than 150 participants

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Peninsula On-line, Qatar / Meet calls for policies to avoid stereotypes

 5/10/2007 7:24:48
Source ::: The Peninsula
Dr Aisha Al Mannai, Dean of the Faculty of Shariah at Qatar University reading out the final declaration at the concluding session of the Doha Conference of Inter-faith Dialogue at the Marriott Hotel yesterday. (ABDUL BASIT)

DOHA The fifth Doha Conference of Inter-faith Dialogue concluded here yesterday with a call for social, educational and media policies to avoid stereotypes which feed phobias and hostilities between religions. The three-day conference, hosted by the College of Shariah and Islamic Studies at the Qatar University, was attended by about 150 delegates representing three prominent world religions- Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

Dr Aisha Al Manni, Dean of the Faculty of Shariah at Qatar University read out the final declaration of the conference at the concluding session, where the participants came out with their views and recommendations on future course of the dialogue.

The statement fell short of any reference to the two regional issues Iraq and Palestine that crept into the discussions in most of the panel sessions.

The conference categorically denounced and disapproved the desecration of religious sites and defamation of all religious symbols and figures.

We appeal for social, educational and media policies to avoid violent, disrespectful and untruthful stereotypes which feed phobias and hostilities between and within all religions," said the statement. The participants recommended the introduction of disciplines like comparative study of religion, including its philosophical, social and spiritual dimensions, in the curricula of universities and institutions of higher education.

Whereas spiritual values form the core of all religious traditions and a severe dearth of these values is evident in all religious communities, it is incumbent upon all religious traditions to emphasise the proper dissemination of those values among their followers.. Therefore we would like to see encouragement of inter-faith education at every appropriate level, for example by the establishment of Chairs for spiritual values in various universities and institutions for the promotion of spiritual values," added the statement.

The participants committed to accompany the work of the newly set up Doha International Centre for Inter-faith Dialogue with exchange of information, and practical support, "where possible".

The delegates decided to send a message of their expression of gratitude to the Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani for establishing the Doha Centre as an implementation of the Draft Resolution of the third Doha Conference on Inter-faith Dialogue.


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