Role Of Interfaith Dialogue In International Society – OpEd


By Mansour Al Turky Al Anazi

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia plays a big role in the international society. This is because of the blessings of God on this country.

The most important factors that grant Saudi Arabia this vital position are the existence of the Two Holy Mosques which have been awarding Saudi nationals a great honor of serving the Two Holy Mosques and the Muslims. This as well allows Saudi Arabia a leading role in the Islamic world.

In addition, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has attained an important global role of being the largest exporter of oil with the biggest oil reserves in the world.

All these religious and economic factors have helped the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia occupy and play a leading role in international society. Nonetheless, Saudi Arabia today enhances its global role by fostering King Abdullah’s Initiative for Interfaith Dialogue. This initiative reflects the perspective of King Abdullah and his government toward the international community.

King Abdullah’s initiative for interfaith dialogue would contribute to strengthen world peace and stability. Moreover, it aims at disseminating human values and promoting coexistence of the people of different faiths and cultures. Also spreading the values of peace and security and improving cooperation between communities.

Thus, it is necessary to continue the efforts which began in Madrid and New York conferences during the last few years which aimed to open dialogues between different people — religious characters, intellectual and experts from several cultures and countries.

However, it could be advised that such initiative and its essential aims should be presented as well among people of different cultures in different levels — for example, students, youth groups and academics staffs etc. All these categories should contribute to such initiative. Especially when racist crimes have increased in the last few years — for example the racist crime which happened at the students camp in Norway 2011. It could be seen as a result of increase in the activities of racist parties and groups in Europe and worldwide. It is time to call for enhancing the Saudi and international efforts to activate the king’s initiative between the young people in order to spread the concept of respecting the differences and promote world peace. Interfaith dialogue should not be restricted to experts, religious people and groups, politicians and intellectuals. Interfaith dialogue must include as well different categories in particular youth who represent the future of their cultures.

This is imperative since King Abdullah’s initiative seeks to create a new future for international society, where peace and respecting each other rules the relationship between the different cultures.

Furthermore, supporting interfaith dialogue is very important nowadays. It will lead to prove that Islam is a religion that respects other faiths and encourage dialogue.

It also shows that Muslim people are able to deal and interact with different types of cultures.

Finally, it could be argued that encouraging dialogue between youth of different faiths will lead to create a new era — where violence, racism and misunderstanding will not exist among people.

Therefore, it is worth mentioning that Saudi youth, especially those who live aboard for a while, are in a position to play a major role in spreading the principles and goals of this initiative and encouraging their counterparts of different cultures to participate in interfaith dialogue for better understanding of each others.

— Mansour Al Turky Al Anazi is a Saudi writer and a legal adviser.

Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

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