The King Abdullah International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, which is based in Vienna, has published a book highlighting its achievements, especially in promoting a culture of dialogue among faith-based communities across the world.
“KAICIID has been playing a significant role in deepening the values of mutual understanding, tolerance and cooperation for the benefit of humanity and for promoting global peace and stability,” said Faisal bin Muammar, secretary-general of the center.
The book has highlighted Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah’s keynote speech at the opening of the World Dialogue Conference in the Spanish capital Madrid in July 2008.
In his speech, the king said: “Dear friends, 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.”
King Abdullah also cautioned against the danger of moral decadence. “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.”
In his speech, the king also emphasized that faith-based communities must focus on common denominators that unite them namely, deep faith in God, noble principles, and lofty moral values, for the success of dialogue.
“Man could be the cause of the destruction of this planet and everything in it. He is also capable of turning it into an oasis of peace and tranquility in which adherents of religions, creeds and philosophies could co-exist, and in which people could cooperate with each other in a respectful manner, and address problems through dialogue rather than violence.”
King Abdullah added: “Man is also capable 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. Dear friends: Let our dialogue be a triumph of belief over disbelief, of virtue over vice, of justice over iniquity, of peace over conflicts and wars, and of human brotherhood over racism.”
Muammar also spoke about the significance of the first global dialogue forum to be organized by KAICIID on Nov. 18-19 in Vienna. More than 600 delegates from 90 countries will take part in the event.
Over the past 12 months, KAICIID has taken a proactive approach to research and training in the fields of interreligious and intercultural education.
“This Global Forum is the culmination of a series of four regional conferences we have hosted since May 2013 in the Euro-Mediterranean region (Vienna); Africa (Addis Ababa); Asia (New Delhi); and the Americas (Buenos Aires),” the secretary-general said. “It is through educational exchange that humanity can shed the shell of suspicion that leads to misunderstanding and unrest. This is the principle on which KAICIID is built.”