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Need for respecting symbols of different faiths highlighted

Published: Friday, 28 April, 2006, 12:48 PM Doha Time

Staff Reporter

PARTICIPANTS at the Doha conference on religious dialogue have called for respecting sacraments and symbols of different religious faiths.

A statement read out by Ayesha al-Mannai, co-ordinator of the three-day conference and head of Shariah faculty at Qatar University, said the participants were looking forward to the promulgation of a United Nations legislation calling for respecting all religions and stopping the abuse of their symbols.

The meeting stressed the necessity of holding dialogues at regular intervals between the representatives of the three religions, namely Islam, Christianity and Judaism. It also highlighted the need for meetings between scientists and religious leaders.

The conference asked members to correct misconceptions about other faiths and advised them to rectify those mistakes that could have crept into textbooks, films and plays. It also appealed to members to remove whatever misunderstandings they possessed towards other faiths.

The need to protect religions from acts of terrorists was also highlighted in the declaration. Through the declaration, the members also condemned the killing of people in the name of religion.

The meeting also called for upholding values such as justice, tolerance, equality and openness. It highlighted the citizensí right to choose the religion of his choice.

It was also decided to constitute a follow-up committee to activate the conference recommendations. The conference called upon members to establish a permanent religions dialogue centre.

Even while asking religions not to oppose science, the conference urged followers to avail of its research and better techniques. It also appealed to people to make use of advanced scientific researches for the welfare of humanity.

Women are equal in all respects to men and the family is the right base for building human societies, the declaration added.

Arabic

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