The activities of the forum themed "Common Values among Followers of Religions,” which brought together senior Muslim scholars and leaders from the countries of the Islamic world and Muslim minority countries, were wrapped up in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, according to a statement received from the Union of OIC News Agencies here on Monday.
Based on common religious principles and international conventions seeking the embodiment of human values in a serious and honest spirit, the forum issued the Declaration of Common Human Values, in which the participants agreed to affirm the centrality of religion for every civilization due to its influence in “shaping the ideas of human societies.”
The participants held the most important international religious event under the umbrella of the Muslim World League. The main representatives of the followers of all religions besides several religious and intellectual leaders attended the event.
They stressed the need to not link religion with the wrongdoings of some followers, and to not employ religion for worldly purposes.
In the declaration, the participants stressed the growing global need to activate international mechanisms for conflict resolution through "a serious will, strong determination, and wise measures."
They also agreed that the religious specifics of every religion or sect should be understood and dealt with as they represent human diversity covered by the Creator’s wisdom in difference.
The participants denounced the thesis of the clash of civilizations, and attempts to impose religious, cultural, political, and economic hegemony "without merit or morals."
They condemned “hatred and racism" as the greatest instigators of violence, terrorism, and division.
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Through the declaration, they also recommended the establishment of an international coalition through an honest, just, and effective will to serve humanity with all its rights, along with underscoring the common values that bind everyone together as the main starting point for this important human construction.
The participants urged responsible national and international institutions to work hard on everything that would guarantee freedoms within the framework of respecting the relevant international and national laws, maintaining family cohesion that represents the nucleus of society, and taking care of the quality of education.
They called upon various platforms of influence, especially the media, to understand the moral honesty entrusted to them as the most influential element for directing public opinion, and appealed to nation states and the international community to make all possible efforts to provide adequate protections for places of worship, ensure free access to them, preserve their spiritual role, and distance them from intellectual and political conflicts and sectarian strife.
The participants also called upon religious institutions around the world to encourage moderate discourses and reject extremist ones that incite hatred.
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The participants announced the launch of a global forum themed "Religious Diplomacy Forum for Building Bridges,” based on the centrality of the influence of religions on human societies, as well as the launch of The Encyclopedia of Common Human Values.
They called upon the United Nations General Assembly to establish a world day for human denominators, as a meeting point for the unifying values that can help achieve human fraternity.
Chairman of the Association of Muslim Scholars, Sheikh Dr. Muhammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, announced the forum's launch in his opening speech. He expressed his pleasure at meeting with a group of prominent religious leaders from "around the world" and a selection of active partners, and contribute to strengthening the peace in our world and the harmony of its national societies.
Meanwhile, chairman of the Emirates Council for Sharia Fatwas, Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah, said that the forum represents a new step in the path of common religious action where various religions gather to embody their agreement on universal values, the values of peace, solidarity, and justice, and search for ways to deepen this through practical initiatives.
Egypt’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Dr. Shawki Allam, made clear that earth construction and benefits from its bounties could not be achieved if the relationship among the followers of religions was one of disharmony and hatred.
Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Ecumenical, Bartholomew, affirmed that "the best way to reach peace is sincere religious dialogue," stressing total rejection of the theory of the "inevitable conflict" among civilizations.
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