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H.E. Faisal Bin Abdulla Al-Mohmoud, Minister of Endowment & Religious Affairs inaugurated the Conference works in Sheraton Doha       

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Gulf Times: Shariah dean stresses on interfaith dialogue
2008-04-29
Tuesday, 29 April, 2008, 02:55 AM Doha Time


Aisha al-Mannai makes a point at the press conference

By Anwar Elshamy
Interfaith dialogue should continue in spite of the obstacles and challenges ahead to avert a clash between religions, said the dean of the Shariah College at Qatar University, Aisha al-Mannai, yesterday.
Addressing a press conference yesterday at the newly-established Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue, al-Mannai said that the potential religious conflicts around the world made it necessary for followers of religions to be involved in interfaith dialogue.
“Let’s continue interfaith dialogue till the Judgment Day. We have no choice but to go ahead with such dialogues. If we failed to stop the clash between religions, at least we would be able to delay it. Even if the interfaith dialogue proved to be futile on the practical level, it would not harm any of those involved in the process,” al-Mannai said.
Asked about the purpose of holding such annual interfaith dialogue forums by Muslims though the West kept attacking Islam’s symbols and insulting the honour of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during the past few years, al-Mannai said that the results of interfaith dialogue would take time to appear.
“Nobody can stop those who attack Islam or satirise our Prophet in the West. We do not have a magic stick to stop such attacks. I think that we should not bother much about such offending remarks or movies made against Islam the Prophet,” she said.
To a question on the participation of the Jewish rabbis, she said that the annual visits of the participating Jewish rabbis have contributed to the change of their conception on Muslims.
“I remember that the Jewish rabbis who participated for the first time in interfaith dialogue were very scared and even asked for tightening security measure. They thought they were coming to a country of terrorists. We do not expect them to hand over Palestine to us after inviting them to such meetings. The important thing is that their perceptions have changed with their annual participation in the Doha Interfaith Dialogue,” she explained.
The 6th Doha Interfaith Dialogue Conference, which will be held in Doha on May 13-14, will bring together prominent religious leaders from the three monotheistic religions: Islam, Judaism and Christianity.
The conference would features issues like euthanasia, human trafficking, desecration of religious symbols and peaceful values in the religions.

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