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>> 170 scholars to attend interfaith dialogue >>        H.E. Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud opened Tuesday morning the 7th Doha Conference on Interfaith Dialogue, which kicked off this year under the slogan" Human Solidarity".       
Peninsula / Doha call to fight poverty, deprivation
10/22/2009 1:11:37
Source ::: The Peninsula
DOHA: Delegates attending the Seventh Doha Conference on Interfaith Dialogue, which concluded here yesterday, deplored the increase in extreme poverty, hunger and disease in the context of the current global financial crisis and called for greater cooperation among religious communities to tackle these challenges.

Over 250 participants from 59 countries — Jews, Christians and Muslims — attended the two-day conference held under the theme, “Human solidarity.” The discussions focused on the religious response to wars, calamities, poverty and the economic crisis.

“The theme of human solidarity challenged the participants to draw on the best of their spiritual resources while at the same time acknowledging that no community can be complacent that they have implemented the high ideals of their respective religions. Only through cooperation, understanding and mutual respect can a truly human solidarity be achieved,” said a statement issued at the end of the conference.

The conference took note of the fact that it is often the weak and innocent who are the first victims of calamities. Whether disasters are natural or man-made, there remains a major responsibility on mankind to deploy resources with greater equity and more ecological sustainability, the statement said.

Human beings need each other to overcome obstacles to peace and justice, and should draw on the guidance of the common wisdom of their particular but often converging religious traditions, it said.

While claiming fundamental rights, all human beings must recognise their duty to protect such rights and to promote their implementation. It is not only necessary to have protection through constitutions and internationally recognised conventions but there should also be a change in mentalities whereby people are conscious of not only their rights but also those of their neighbours and strangers, it said.

The participants expressed strong support for the need to protect places of worship and holy sites, whether in a place so central to all three religions as Jerusalem, or the facilities for expatriates such as have been offered by Qatar.

The conference also underlined the right to education, noting that this should include the right of a child to be educated in his or her own religious tradition as well as to learn with truth and sensitivity about other religions and cultures.

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