Al-Othaimeen emphasizes OIC’s role in fostering interfaith dialogue

Vienna Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen stressed that the OIC plays an active role in enriching intercultural and interfaith dialogue and accords priority to this issue in its programs and activities in member states and worldwide.

These remarks were made in his statement before the High-Level Meeting on Interreligious Dialogue for Peace: Promoting Peaceful Coexistence and Common Citizenship held by King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) in Vienna, Austria, on Monday and Tuesday.

"The promotion of intercultural and interreligious reconciliation and understanding is an integral part of the resolutions of the Islamic summits and the councils of ministers for foreign affairs of member states. The OIC Ten-Year Program of Action affirms, " inter-civilizational dialogue, based on mutual respect and understanding, and equality amongst people is a prerequisite for international peace and security, tolerance, peaceful co-existence", stated Al-Othaimeen.

The OIC chief indicated that the most important steps taken by the OIC in this area included the establishment of Sawt Al-Hikma (Voice of Wisdom) Center for Dialogue, Peace and Understanding with the view of addressing the discourse of hatred, promoting self-revision, correcting misconceptions and extremism, and spreading the principles of coexistence and mutual understanding among different nations and civilizations. He also stressed that heavenly religions descended to be a cause of happiness for all humankind.

The OIC secretary general also commended the special attention accorded by some OIC member states to the issues of interfaith and intercultural dialogue and their adoption of national strategies that promote and spread the values of tolerance and fraternity in the face of extremism and terrorism. He asserted that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia comes at the forefront represented by KAICIID, the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (ETIDAL) and the Center for Intellectual Warfare, which are all initiatives that seek to combat extremism at the intellectual, media, and digital levels to promote the foundations and principles of coexistence and tolerance among peoples.

The secretary general saluted the efforts of Saudi Arabia and all member states that have positive initiatives in these areas.

Source: International Islamic News Agency