Pope Francis (L) and Dr Ahmad Al Tayeb
File photo shows Pope Francis (L) and Dr Ahmad Al Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar (R), signing the Human Fraternity document, called ‘Abu Dhabi Declaration’ at the Founders Memorial in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Image Credit: AFP

Prague: The Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam said that interreligious and inter-cultural dialogue are especially important considering recent global challenges.

"The Document on Human Fraternity is the pinnacle of interfaith dialogue and is one of the most important steps taken towards conceiving contemporary global peace," he said while addressing the opening session of the 7th Intercultural and Interfaith Dialogue hosted by the Czech Republic.

Abdelsalam added: "The historic Document on Human Fraternity which was co-signed by His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, and His Holiness Pope Francis of the Catholic Church under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, was the preeminent event for interfaith relations in modern history."

Shared vision

"There is a shared vision towards directing future generations down the path of coexistence and human fraternity. This can be seen with the adoption of the Document on Human Fraternity in various school and tertiary curricula, with a total of 1.5 million students around the world benefiting from the noble values of the Document.

"Likewise, the anniversary of the Document's signing on the 4th of February has been recognized by the United Nations as the International Day of Human Fraternity. Also, the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity was launched with the aim of recognizing individuals and groups who embody the values of human fraternity."

"The Muslim Council is exerting great efforts to consolidate peace and coexistence through its many meetings with world leaders. The Council will continue to spearhead efforts to spread human fraternity through its many initiatives to stop all forms of conflict and bloodshed.

"I thank the organisers of this important event including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Anna Lindh Foundation," he concluded.