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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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Religious dialogue a ‘must at all levels’
2008-05-15
Thursday, 15 May, 2008, 02:18 AM Doha Time

THE 6th Doha Conference of Inter-faith Dialogue has emphasised that religious dialogue is a must at the local, regional and world levels.
The two-day conference, which wound up its deliberations at the Doha Sheraton Hotel yesterday evening, called for focusing on education, peace-building and promotion of solidarity and understanding among different communities and cultures.
In their final declaration, read out by Dr Ibrahim Saleh al-Nuaimi, the chairman of Doha International Center for Inter-faith Dialogue, the participants asked the centre to follow up the conference’s recommendations and to facilitate new initiatives to promote a culture of interfaith dialogue and co-operation.
The participants said: “We wish to express our thanks to HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, and to the people of Qatar. We also thank the organisers, notably the Doha International Centre for Inter-faith Dialogue, the University of Qatar and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”
They also highlighted the Doha conference of inter-faith dialogue as an oasis of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence thanks to the vision of the Emir.
‘’We have addressed the theme ‘Religious Values: Perspective on Peace and Respect for Life.’ As Muslims, Christians and Jews, we engaged in dialogue not only about the ideals, values and practical teachings of our respective religions, but also we discussed some of the difficult and tragic issues which disfigure our world and create violence and injustice in so many contexts,” said the declaration.
“In particular, we examined the ethical dimensions of issues such as suicide, abortion, euthanasia (mercy killing), desecration of religious symbols, human trafficking, selling of organs and violence in the media. We sought ways for common action to exercise individual and communal responsibilities to tackle these problems.”
The participants agreed on the following:
1 Inter-faith dialogue is a necessity at every level, international, regional and local, working groups on different levels and sizes should be established with emphasis on issues such as education, peace building and the promotion of solidarity and understanding among different communities and cultures.
2 Values such as equality, human dignity, human freedom, tolerance and respect for religious diversity and the sanctity of all life, should be practiced and taught, and young people should be encouraged to play a central role in this respect.
3 A matter of great concern is the way in which peace is troubled by abuse of religion and by widespread disrespect for religious symbols ranging from desecration to violent caricature, we urge education for mutual understanding and action from governmental and non-governmental organisations to promote respect among all religions and communities.
4 The Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue is requested to follow up these recommendations and to facilitate new initiatives to promote a culture of interfaith dialogue and cooperation. Education about other religions is particularly important in this respect, at both school and university levels.
For the last five years, Qatar has been the centre for inter-faith dialogue among the religious groups around the world. – QNA

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