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Stress on co-existence

Stress on co-existence
Published: Wednesday, 26 April, 2006, 10:47 AM Doha Time

Minister al-Mahmoud delivering the inaugural address at the Doha Interfaith Dialogue Conference at Four Seasons Hotel yesterday. (From left) Ayesha al-Mannai, Bishop George Sleeba and Egyptian minister Mohamed Hamdi Zagzoug are also seen. Picture: J Hamid
Staff Reporter

The primary basis of Islam, Christianity and Judaism is the oneness of God, who created the universe as well as man in order to inhabit the earth, adopting the norms of good deeds and justice, said Minister of State for Foreign Affairs HE Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmoud.

He was inaugurating the fourth Doha Interfaith Dialogue at the Four Seasons Hotel last evening.

“Following such a line of reasoning, all of us are entrusted with a well-defined set of duties and joint responsibilities to establish a relationship based on mutual respect and understanding,” the minister said.

Mutual respect and understanding among one and all, he said, will help achieve the best results for the humanity - peace - under the canopy of which the entire humanity lives together as different nations and different people.

Al-Mahmoud said Qatar, under the wise leadership of HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, believes in such concepts and values, and regards the interfaith dialogue as a concept that promotes dialogue between representatives of all religions to reduce chances of unnecessary arguments on issues concerning religions. “This way, each of us reaches out to the other and gets to understand one another better,” the minister pointed out.

Qatar views the conference as a pragmatic and realistic approach that seeks to establish the need for co-existence among the people of different faiths, the minister said.

“A dialogue augments the prospects of convergence of views, through which one will be able to transcend the boundaries of differences among members of mankind. It also helps chalk out a common path of life with its various domains on a solid platform of precepts shared by every religion,” al-Mahmoud stressed.

The denigration of prophets, apostles and angels, which hurts the sentiments of believers, is by no means acceptable, said the minister.

Terming such insults as manifestations of discrimination, al-Mahmoud said they were inconsistent with the principles of co-existence and even contradictory to the basic concepts of justice and open-mindedness.

The minister expressed his confidence that the next two days of discussions would enrich various ideas to promote co-existence.

The minister also called upon the participants, especially those who attended the conference last year also, to explore all means to implement the recommendations issued at that conference, as well as the outcome of the latest edition, in order to meet the objectives behind such meetings and dialogues.

Metropolitan George Sleeba, Bishop of the Orthodox Church of Lebanon, said the basic duty of each religion is to turn its followers into good human beings. “Human beings without religions, and nations without religions, fail to understand good and bad things in each individual,” he said.

The ways of worship may be different for each religion, but the intention is one and the same - the goodness of the mankind, he said.

Talking about the Christian church, Bishop Sleeba said its followers believe in the principle of unity in diversity even though each denomination represents a different school of thought.


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