Saturday, 4 October 2008

Eid al-Fitr is a festival that we can all learn from -british Prime Minister Gordon Brown

Dr. Mozammel Haque .

LONDON: The British Muslim Community is celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr on Tuesday, the 30th of September 2008. On this auspicious occasion, the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, MP. has sent his Eid Message on 30 September 2008 to the British Muslims wishing them all best wishes. “I am aware that Eid al-Fitr is a special time of year for Muslim communities in the UK and all across the world. It marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan - the month of fasting for Muslims, which is also the month of charity, family, contemplation, and recitation of the Qur'an.”

“I know Eid al-Fitr is a joyous occasion but also a day of gratitude for the everyday blessings we enjoy in life. It brings together friends and families, and encourages Muslims to continue the teachings from the month of Ramadan throughout the rest of the year- particularly the lessons of giving, community and charity. These shared values are reflected in the generosity that British Muslims have shown over the years in helping those less fortunate than themselves across the world,” said the British Prime Minister.
Gordon Brown, MP, also said, “At this special time for Muslim communities we can also reflect on the tremendous contribution of British Muslims to British life over many decades.”

British Prime Minister also said, “Eid al-Fitr is a festival that we can all learn from.” He sent his “Best wishes to you and your family. Eid Mubarak.”

Eid Message from the Muslim Council of Britain
The Muslim Council of Britain, the umbrella organisation of the British Muslims has issued also Eid Message on 29 September 2008. “All praises are due to Allah Almighty alone who has made it possible for us to fast and enjoy the fruits of another Blessed month of Ramadan. We praise and thank Him as we should. And we send our best greetings of peace upon our beloved Messenger, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), his family, companions and righteous followers,” the press release said.
The Secretary General of the Muslim Council Council of Britain (MCB), said, “Eid al-Fitr, a most joyous occasion on the Muslim calendar is with us once again, and I on behalf of the Muslim Council of Britain, take this opportunity to send my choicest greetings to all Muslims and humanity during this auspicious time.

“The day of Eid is rooted in the sacrifice and self-awareness cultivated in the month that has gone before, and our celebration marks a time when we give thanks to God for partaking in the spiritual feast that was offered to us during the month of Ramadan,” He said.

Dr. Muhammad Abdul Bari, the Secretary General of the MCB, said, “During this month, the MCB encouraged all its affiliated mosques and community associations to use the opportunity to open their doors to the local community. We encouraged British Muslims to engage open heartedly with our neighbours, whether Muslim or not, and of course in striving to make a real positive impact on the lives of countless millions around the world who suffer needlessly. The day of Eid is also a timely reminder that we can share our joy and happiness with others. In London, the MCB will be assisting the Mayor as he invites thousands of Londoners to celebrate Eid in the world-famous Trafalgar Square.”
"We hope such initiatives are repeated across the country. When our community comes under sustained attack from cynics keen to expose our supposed separatism and our inability to integrate we must remain steadfast, reach out to our neighbours of all faiths and none, be vigilant in upholding our rights but be ever ready in discharging our responsibilities to all those around us, with humility and compassion,” Dr. Abdul Bari said.
Dr. Abdul Bari also said, “The month of Ramadan has seen numerous accounts of British mosques and charities raising record amounts for the needy around the world. Eid al-Fitr translates as the 'festival of charity'; I hope each and every one of us can uphold this spirit of charity in the year to come. I urge those in power to also strive to provide a better world for the millions that rely on their generosity and kindness.”

Ramadan: The Month of the Qur'an

Dr. Mozammel Haque

The Noble Qur’an was revealed in the month of Ramadan (Al-Qur’an, 97:1-3.). The Qur’an was sent down in the month of Ramadhan on the Night of Power Lailatul Qadr. (Al-Qur’an, 91:1-3.).
It is the month of Ramadhan that Allah has honoured by revealing the Qur’an. Because of this strong relation between the Qur’an and the month of Ramadan, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to read the Qur’an to Archangel Jibreel every Ramadan. I think this is the right place to discuss the purpose and objective of the revelation of the Qur’an, its importance, the campaigns against it and the do’s and don’ts of the Qur’an.
First of all, Allah the Most High, created mankind and gave him the gift of expression. For the guidance of mankind Allah sent Prophets to every single community. In the words of the Qur’an, "There has been no community to which God’s messengers have not come" and "Muslims should make no distinctions between them." So it is the duty of a Muslim to honour all the prophets equally.
The Qur’an represents the culmination of all other earlier Revealed Books. The Qur’an is the last of the Revealed Books. The Qur’an is the first religious book in the world, which requires the belief in other revelations, a part of its Faith. This Sacred Book was revealed to the last Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the month of Ramadan. Allah Himself said in the Qur’an: “Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to Mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong).” (2:185).
Allah the Most High has especially mentioned the exact date and month of the revelation: “We have indeed revealed This (Message) in the Night of Power.” (97:1) So the purpose of the revelation of the Qur’an was for guidance of Mankind.
The Qur’an is emphatic in proclaiming that Islam is the religion of Jesus, Moses, Abraham and the Prophets Jesus and Moses were not Jews but Muslims. "Surely those who believe (in that which is revealed to Muhammad Peace be upon him) and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabaeans – whoever believes in Allah, and the Last Day and does good, surely their reward is with their Lord, and there is no fear for them nor shall they grieve." (2:62). "A Guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and judgement (between right and wrong)." This is the most important characteristic of the Qur’an, the Book that Allah has revealed in the month of Ramadhan. It is guidance for mankind. It is clear proof, clear proof of guidance and of judgement.
Before the revelation of the Qur’an, it was preserved and guarded from corruption in the "Mother of the Book". Allah Himself said: "Nay this is a Glorious Qur’an (inscribed) in a Tablet Preserved" (85:21-22). When Allah wanted to give this Trust to someone, the Heavens, the Earth, and the Mountains, i.e. other creatures of Allah, besides man, refused to undertake this Trust or responsibility. They preferred to submit their will entirely to Allah’s Will, which is All-Wise and Perfect, and which would give them far more happiness than a faculty of choice, with their imperfect knowledge. Allah says in the Qur’an: "We did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth and the Mountains; but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof: but man undertook it: He was indeed unjust and foolish." (33-72).

So it is the human beings who took the responsibility of the Trust without realising its importance. This Sacred Book was revealed to the last Messenger Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the month of Ramadhan. The Qur’an is the revealed book of God which has been in existence for more than four hundred years and the Word of Allah is available in its original form. There has not been an iota of change in this unique historic record. Its originality and authenticity has been guaranteed by no other than Allah the Almighty who challenges in the Qur’an itself.
Allah said, "This Qur’an is not such as can be produced by other than Allah: on the contrary it is a confirmation of (revelation) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of the Book - wherein there is no doubt – from the Lord of the Worlds." (10:37). In another verse of the Qur’an Allah challenges, "Or do they say, "He forged it?" Say: "Bring then a Surah like unto it; and call (to your aid) anyone who can, beside Allah if it be you speak the truth!" (10:38). "Or they may say, "He forged it." Say, "Bring you then ten Suras forged, like unto it, and call (to your aid) whomsoever you can, other than Allah! – if you speak the truth!" (11:13).

Allah said in the Qur’an, "And if you are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant then produce a Sura like thereunto, and call your witness and helpers (if there are any) besides Allah, if your are truthful." (2:23) Allah places many verses before you. Can you produce one like it?
The world is challenged to produce a Book like it and has not produced one. It is the only Revealed Book whose text stands pure and uncorrupted today. Allah said, "Say: "if the whole of mankind and jinns were to gather together to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support." (17:88)
Since the revelation of the Qur’an, the enemies of Islam have been trying to distort it. Firstly, they said, it is not revelation, it is written by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Then they started attacking its authenticity and originality. In spite of their conspiracy, the Qur’an has been preserved in its original form.

The Qur’an is the only Book in the world which has remained for the past fourteen centuries pure without any interpolation or change and will remain so till the Last Day as Allah has guaranteed its purity. (15:9).
The purity, preservation and propagation of the Qur’an were maintained by two methods: memorization of Qur’an in Qur’anic schools and the recitation of the complete Qur’an in Ramadan. In the month of Ramadan every year the Noble Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked by Archangel Jibreel to recite the whole of it twice. It was a Muzakira between the two.
Abu Huraira reported that Jibreel used to repeat the recitation of the Qur’an with the Prophet once a year, but he repeated it twice with him in the year the Prophet (peace be upon him) died. The Qur’an was recited in the Taraweeh for the first time during the era of Caliph Omar.
So far as the memorization of the Qur’an in Qur’anic schools is concerned, many Huffaz and Islamic scholars have been killed in different parts of the world at different times. But still there is no dearth of Islamic scholars who can recite the complete Qur’an from memory. Severe campaigns have been launched against the Qur’anic schools, which teach the study, recitation and memorization of the Qur’an. The Qur’an is the main Book of the Muslims; it is the duty of the Muslims to learn Qur’an, which contains their code of life and ethical values whose benefits have been experienced by mankind throughout the ages.
I have already mentioned the objective and importance of the Qur’an and how its originality and purity have been maintained. Our Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions dedicated their days and nights for worship. Their lives revolved completely around the Book of Allah, the Qur’an, reciting it in and out of Salah.
The Qur’an is the basis of the religion of Islam, and on the preservation and propagation of the Qur’an depends the very existence of this Faith. Hence the virtue of learning and teaching the Qur’an is self-evident and does not need further elucidation. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The best amongst you is he who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.” (Bukhari, Daud and Tirmidhi).

Madrid Conference - Its importance and Significance

Dr. Mozammel Haque

The first International Conference for Dialogue was held in Makkah al-Mukarramah, Saudi Arabia last June, that was inaugurated by King Abdullah at Al-Safa Palace in Makkah. That was a meeting attended by representatives of the different Muslim schools of thoughts. Before the Saudi Monarch invited the followers of all revealed religions and other cultures and civilizations, he wanted to get a mandate from the Muslim Ummah to come and say - I am now coming to you on behalf of the religious leaders, religious callers from the Muslim Ummah.

The Saudi King wanted to bring Muslims together and wanted to ask them what is your opinion and what do you think about dialogue with the non-Muslims from all over the world. There was dialogue and free discussions. Muslim scholars and representatives of Muslim communities, not only from the Muslim and Arab countries, but also of those who live in minority areas like the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia, attended the free discussions at the Makkah meet and unanimously agreed to give King Abdullah the mandate to speak on behalf of the Muslim Ummah.

That’s why King Abdullah was very strong. He was not coming on his own but he made Shoura and free discussions and got the free authorization. The Makkah conference told him to “go ahead in the name of Allah the Almighty. Allah blesses you and we are behind you.”

King Abdullah immediately within a month came to the West, to Europe and selected the most suitable country, Spain. Spain has the golden history in this kind of dialogue and has religious freedom for followers of different religions. The World Conference on Dialogue in Madrid took completely a new direction. All previous conferences for dialogue were held between religions where participants presented views of their religions. This was not successful experience because people or followers of religions were stick to their beliefs. The Madrid gathering was completely different. It assembled the followers of different religions, cultures and civilizations, who presented their views on issues facing mankind.

The Madrid Conference on Dialogue was significant in many respects. Firstly, the venue selected for this conference was Spain, known for its historical symbolism as a place where Muslims, Jews and Christians lived together in peace. It was “a natural place for this type of dialogue” since for centuries it has been home to members of three of the world’s great religions, said the Saudi Ambassador to Spain, Saud bin Naif.

Secondly, it was indeed a historic and unique occasion because the two heads of state, the King of Saudi Arabia and the King of Spain, inaugurated this World Conference on Dialogue. “Your Majesty, your personal presence gives new impetus to broaden the dimensions of existing inter-religious dialogue and reinforces the premise that religious communities and leaders can and must play a role in easing tension,” said Rabbi Arthur Schneier, President, Appeal of Conscience Foundation, Member, UN Alliance of Civilizations High Level Group and Senior Rabbi, Park East Synagogue, New York.

Thirdly, the conference was attended by around 300 eminent personalities and representatives from among the followers of the three revealed religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, as well as by representatives of Oriental philosophies, cultures and civilizations, and especially by those who are specialized in dialogue and issues related to the human societies, international cooperation, human rights and issues and issues of peace, security and co-existence in the world. So the participants were not only the followers of revealed religions but also the followers of some specific philosophy, cultures, thoughts and civilizations. Among the attendees were the Secretary General of the World Jewish Congress Michael Schneider and Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, in charge of dialogue between the Vatican and Muslims and the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has recently launched his own Tony Blair Faith Foundation. This is the first time in history that such a gathering took place.

Fourthly, the world is facing countless challenges that threaten the very existence of mankind. The conference focuses on a common vision and principles acceptable to all as its aim was to focus on human issues and challenges facing the world and avoid theological questions. The Secretary General of the Muslim World League, Dr. Abdullah Mohsin al-Turki, said “the aim of inter-faith conference is for us to get to know each other and to look for ways to cooperate.” The MWL chief said the conference would not interfere in religious and political issues but focus on the common factors shared by followers of divine religions and different oriental cultures. The conference stressed the need to build a bridge of mutual understanding and co-existence between various people so that the world would be free from the evils of war, injustice, violence, terrorism, drugs and depravity, the MWL chief said.

Fifthly, King Abdullah had initiated the dialogue in order to discuss and seek solutions to the myriad problems facing humanity, such as erosion of family norms, weakening of moral values, and conflicts among nations, peoples, societies and civilizations. Speaking about the Madrid conference, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Vatican City, said, “Since the very beginning of our meeting, King Abdullah has focused the objectives of this conference on Dialogue with a courageous speech when he declared: “If we wish this historic meeting to succeed, we must focus on the common denominators that unite us, namely faith in God, noble principles, and lofty moral values which constitute the essence of religion.”

Sixthly, King Abdullah made a tremendous move by demonstrating both to the Muslims and the rest of the world that it is possible, in fact, it is sacred to be both the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, defender of the faith and also as the promoter of peace and harmony with other faiths. Speakers at the conference praised King Abdullah as a peacemaker and initiated debate about establishing the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Global Centre for Inter-Faith Dialogue. “No statesman realizes the need for peace more acutely than King Abdullah whose Kingdom lies in the vortex of an imagined clash of civilizations,” said Jose de Venecia, a Filipino who is Vice-President of Christian Democratic International and Chairman of CDI-Asia Pacific International Conference of Asian Political Party.

Last but not least, religion is blamed for war, conflicts and confrontation, which is not correct. “The tragedies we have experienced throughout history were not the fault of religion but were caused by extremism, which has been adopted by some of the followers of all religion and all political systems,” said King Abdullah while opening the three-day international conference. “Many disputes seem to have been caused by religion, but in reality these are caused by reasons outside religious beliefs,” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

King Abdullah was confident of the success of dialogue: “Our dialogue will be a success of faith against atheism, of virtue against vice, of justice against injustice, of peace against conflicts and wars, and of human brotherhood against racism.”

World Conference on Dialogue in Madrid

World Conference on Dialogue in Madrid

King Abdullah Calls for a constructive
dialogue between religions

Dr. Mozammel Haque

MADRID: I came to Madrid, the capital of Spain, on Tuesday, the 15th of July 2008 to attend the World Conference on Dialogue, organized by the Makkah-based Muslim World League, under the patronage of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, held at the El Pardo Palace on Wednesday, 16 July 2008. The conference was attended by more than 300 eminent personalities and representatives from the followers of different revealed religions and also of different philosophies, cultures and civilizations and especially those who are specialized in dialogue and its issues related to the life of human societies, to international cooperation, human rights and issues of peace, security and co-existence in the world.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
The King of Saudi Arabia has made a call to achieve a constructive dialogue between different religions. The event took place at the El Pardo Palace with King Juan Carlos I as the host, during the inauguration of the World Conference on Dialogue. King Abdullah is the promoter of this conference which lasted till Friday, the 18th of July, 2008 when the Madrid Declaration was announced.

On the opening ceremony at the El Pardo Palace, addressing the King of Spain and the eminent personalities of different religions, cultures and civilizations, King Abdullah ibn Abdulaziz said, “I extend my deep appreciation to my friend, His Majesty King Juan Carlos, and the Kingdom of Spain and its friendly people for welcoming the convening of this conference on their land, a land that has a historic and civilized heritage among the followers of religions, and which has witnessed coexistence between people of differing ethnicities and religions and cultures, and contributed, with other civilizations, to the advancement of humanity.”

King Abdullah also said, “I came to you from the place dearest to the hearts of all Muslims, the land of the Two Holy Mosques, bearing with me a message from the Islamic world (Ummah), representing its scholars and thinkers who recently met in the confines of the House of God. This message declares that Islam is a religion of moderation and tolerance; a message that calls for constructive dialogue among followers of religions; a message that promises to open a new page for humanity in which – God Willing – concord will replace conflict.”

The Saudi sovereign underlined in the presence of the Spanish monarch, the Spanish government, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and a series of religious leaders, the common points of the three main monotheistic religions. “We all believe in one God, who sent messengers for the good of humanity in this world and the hereafter. His Will, praise be to Him, was that people should differ in their faiths. If the Almighty had so desired, all mankind would have shared the same religion. We are meeting today to affirm that the religions that God Almighty desired for the happiness of man, should be a means to ensure that happiness,” declared King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al- Saud.

Kind Abdullah also said, “It is therefore incumbent upon us to declare to the world that difference must not lead to conflict and confrontation, and to state that the tragedies that have occurred in human history were not attributable to religion, but were the result of extremism with which some adherents of every divinely revealed religion, and of every political ideology, have been afflicted.”

“Mankind is suffering today from a loss of values and conceptual confusion, and is passing through a critical phase which, in spite of all the scientific progress, is witnessing a proliferation of crime, an increase in terrorism, the disintegration of the family, subversion of the minds of the young by drug-abuse, exploitation of the poor by the strong, and odious racist tendencies. This is all a consequence of the spiritual void from which people suffer when they forget God, and God causes them to forget themselves. There is no solution for us other than to agree on a united approach, through dialogue among religions and civilizations,” said King Abdullah.

“Most of the past dialogues have failed because they have deteriorated into mutual recrimination focusing on and exaggerating differences in a sterile Endeavour that exacerbated rather than mitigated tensions, or because they attempted to fuse religions and creeds on the pretext of bringing them closer together. This is likewise a fruitless effort, since the adherents of every religion are deeply convinced in their faith, and will not accept any alternative thereto,” said the Saudi Monarch and added, “If we wish this historic meeting to succeed, we must focus on the common denominations that unite us, namely, deep faith in God, noble principles, and lofty moral values, which constitute the essence of religion.”

Likewise, the Saudi King stressed the value of religion in order to combat the problems of modern societies: “Terrorism, the disintegration of families, drugs, exploitation of the weak: all these are a consequence of a spiritual void,” he declared.

King Abdullah also declared, “Man is capable – by the Grace of God – of vanquishing hatred through love, and bigotry through tolerance, thereby enabling all mankind to enjoy the dignity that the Almighty has bestowed upon all of them.”

After the speech of both the Kings and the speech of the Secretary General of the Muslim World League, Dr. Abdullah Bin Abdul Mohsin Al-Turki, there was lunch at the Palace of the King of Spain.

Dialogue and its Religious & Civilizational Foundations
The five sessions and the concluding session were held at the Auditorium Madrid Hotel in Madrid. The first session on “Dialogue and its Religious & Civilizational Foundations” was held under the chairmanship of Dr. Bawa Jain, Secretary General of the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders. Dr. Hussain Hamed Hassan, Legal Adviser, Dubai Islamic Bank spoke on Dialogue in Islam; Dr. Najeeb Gabriel, Head, Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights spoke on Dialogue in Christianity; Senior Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Founder and Chairman of Conscience Foundation Call, USA, spoke on Dialogue in Judaism and Dr. M.M. Verma, Director of Interfaith Foundation, India, spoke on Dialogue in Oriental Creeds (Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Confucianism).

Dialogue and Its Importance in Human Society
The second session on “Dialogue and Its Importance in Human Society” chaired by Salih bin Abdullah bin Humaid, the Speaker of Shoura Council, Saudi Arabia on 17th July. Rev. Nichiko, President of Japan Committee of World Parliament for Religion and Peace, spoke on Dialogue and Interaction of Cultures and Civilizations; Dr. Abdelhadi Al-Tazi, Member of Royal Academy of Morocco, spoke on Dialogue and its impact on peaceful co-existence; Congressman Jose De Venecia, Jr. Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives, spoke on Impact of Religion on World Ethical Promotion and Dr. Redwan Naef Al-Sayyed, Chairman of the International Institute for Islamic Studies, Lebanon, spoke on Dialogue in the face of Calls for Clash of Civilization and End of History.

Common Human Values in Areas of Dialogue
The third session on “Common Human Values in Areas of Dialogue” chaired by Dr. William F. Vendley, Secretary General of the World Conference of Religions for Peace. Dr. Nihad Awad, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, USA, spoke on Ethical Reality in Contemporary Human Society; Sheikh Muhammad Ali Taskheeri, Secretary General of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, Iran, spoke on Significance of Religion and Values in Combating Crimes, Drugs and Corruption; Shankaracharya Onkar Anand Saraswati Ji Maharaj, leader of Sanatan Dharm, India, spoke on Role of Religion and Family in Stability of Society and Rev. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, Rector of Pontifical Institute for Arabic Studies, Vatican, spoke on Protection of Environment as a Common Human Duty.

Evaluation and Promotion of Dialogue
The fourth session on “Evaluation and Promotion of Dialogue” chaired by Rabbi Caudio Epelman, Secretary General of Jewish Congress in Latin America & Caribbean, Argentina. Dr. Izeddin Ibrahim Mustafa, Adviser to President of United Arab Emirates for Cultural Affairs, UAE, spoke on Muslim-Christian-Jewish Dialogue: Its Future and Horizons; Master Xue Cheng, Vice-Chairman of Buddhist Association of China, spoke on Dialogue with Oriental Creeds: Its Future and Horizons; Father Econos Nabbel Haddad, Executive Director of Jordanian Centre for Religious Co-Existence Researches, Jordan, spoke on Efforts of World Countries and Organizations in Augmenting Dialogue and Overcoming Its Obstacles and Mr. Federico Mayor Zaragoza, President of the Cultural Foundation of Peace, Spain, spoke on Dialogue: Its Impact on Peaceful Co-Existence.

Disseminating of Culture and Co-existence of Dialogue
The fifth session held on 18th July on “Disseminating of Culture and Co-existence of Dialogue” chaired by Dr. Ahmed Talib Al-Ibrahimi, former Foreign Minister of Algeria. Dr. Nabil Luka Bibawi, Member of Shoura Council of Egypt spoke on Media and Its Impact on Disseminating the Culture of Dialogue and Co-existence; Dr. James Kidner, Director of Co-existence Foundation, UK, spoke on Dialogue: Its Impact on Co-existence and Dr. William Baker, President of Christians and Muslims for Peace (CAMP), USA, spoke on Dialogue, Peace and Co-existence.

The Madrid Declaration urges for
a special UN session on Dialogue

The three-day World Conference on Dialogue concluded here on Friday, 18th July by calling for forming a working team to study the problems hindering dialogue and proposing an international agreement to combat terrorism. The Islamic, Christian and Jewish leaders appealed for a special UN session to promote dialogue among the followers of religions, cultures and civilizations.

The Madrid Declaration, read by Dr. Abdul Rahman bin Abdullah Al-Zaid, Deputy Secretary General of the MWL, demanded an international agreement of defining terrorism, addressing its root causes and achieving justice and stability in the world. “Terrorism is a universal phenomenon that requires unified efforts to combat it in a serious, responsible and just way,” it said. It rejected the call for the clash of civilizations and cultures and warned of the danger of campaigns seeking to deepen conflicts and destabilize peace and security.

Delegates said legal and political negotiation must proceed the establishment of a Centre for dialogue named after King Abdullah in view of his role as a promoter of peace and constructive dialogue. “No statesman realizes the need for peace more acutely than King Abdullah whose Kingdom lies in the vortex of an imagined clash of civilizations,” said Jose de Venecia, a Filipino who is Vice-President of Christian Democratic International and Chairman of CDI-Asia Pacific International Conference of Asian Political Party.

The Madrid Declaration called upon the UN General Assembly to conduct a special session on dialogue. They said, “Dialogue is one of the essentials of life. It is one of the most important means for knowing each other, cooperation, exchange of interests and realizing the truth, which contributes to the happiness of humankind.”