The Muslim world celebrates Eid this year in a state of turmoil, conflict and war that is threatening our region and every Muslim worldwide.
All Muslims today on this blessed occasion of Haj are praying to the Almighty to protect our brothers and sisters who are victims of war, discrimination and injustice.
The Muslim nation remains greatly concerned at the dangerous tendency to associate Islam with terrorism, and the campaign orchestrated by Western media and extremist elements who continue to defame Muslim culture.
Muslim leaders are called upon to stand united against all forms of extremism, deviant ideologies and terrorism that have no place in Islam.
King Abdullah, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, has reiterated in his speeches and during his meetings with the leaders of the Muslim world the importance of cohesion between Islamic countries, and the need to fight sectarianism and sedition. On many occasions, he has urged citizens to stay away from sectarian and intellectual classifications and has said that using the language of exclusion was unbecoming for a society that practices the tolerant teachings and values of Islam.
In the opening ceremony of the two-day extraordinary Islamic Solidarity Summit in Mecca, the King said: “The Islamic nation is currently living in a state of sedition and disunity that has led to the bloodshed of its people in many areas across the Islamic world.”
He called on Muslim leaders, scholars, researchers and Islamic propagators from different parts of the Islamic world to find solutions to the bloody conflicts that are raging in many Muslim countries today.
The King urged solutions and said: “The ideal solution for all these things will only come through solidarity, tolerance and moderation, and by standing united against those who are trying to undermine our religion and unity.”
Global interfaith organizations are well aware of the extremists of various faiths whose intent is to hijack religion and use it to impose their selfish designs. Muslims are required to engage such people in order to spread the mission of peace and set an example of true Muslim values of tolerance and compassion to the whole world.
Muslim leaders today unanimously condemn all forms of terrorism and reject any justification of terrorist acts. They denounce all forms of support for terrorist activities and consider terrorism a global phenomenon not associated with any religion, race, color or country.
King Abdullah has called for dialogue between followers of Islamic schools of thought. Muslim scholars stress the need to inculcate true Islamic values in the educational curricula and to instill the values of tolerance and pluralism, to build Muslim solidarity.
Muslims worldwide continue to suffer from racial discrimination and incitement to hatred and intolerance. Respect for cultural and religious diversity and peaceful coexistence is the need of the hour. The Human Rights Council has recently adopted by consensus its historic Resolution 16/18 on “Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence against persons based on religion or belief”. Muslims should capitalize on this positive development and stand united to promote respect for Muslim culture and civilization worldwide.
There are many Muslim organizations and academic institutions that have adopted King Abdullah’s initiative of interfaith dialogue to spread global peace and stability.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has stepped up its efforts to build Muslim solidarity and confront the threat of Islamophobia and anti-Islam designs. It should be commended for its relentless work to bring different faith communities together at this time of anti-Muslim campaigns.
More than 400 delegates attended an international symposium in Malaysia to strengthen King Abdullah’s intercultural dialogue initiative. Prominent Muslim personalities and academics called for greater cooperation between the various interfaith and intercultural initiatives launched by different countries including Turkey, Egypt and the U.S.. They stressed that a common agenda and coordinated work can hopefully have a greater impact on the global community.
The Muslim scholars and intellectuals at the symposium organized by Al-Madinah Islamic University and the International Islamic University in Malaysia addressed in detail the Muslim rage and violence that erupted because of the anti-Islam film and cartoons that insulted Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). They called for more awareness campaigns to be conducted across the Muslim world to teach people how to respond to such provocation and humiliation in a rational and peaceful manner.
The symposium was a significant event because it focused on the means of coordinating the efforts of different Muslim organizations to educate people of different cultures and religions about Islam in order to eliminate the mistrust and ignorance that threatens global stability.
The delegates called for a more up-to-date media approach to popularize the interfaith dialogue initiative and organize conferences to address prejudices and distorted information about Islam.
On the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, let us pray for world peace and an end to conflicts and wars. Let us pray for the success of all noble initiatives of Muslim organizations. May Allah guide them to coordinate their efforts and use all possible means to support interfaith dialogue initiatives to achieve tolerance, harmony and global coexistence.
* Samar Fatany is a radio broadcaster and writer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
(This article was published on the Saudi Gazette on Oct. 27, 2012.)