Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - The Islamic University of Al Azhar will organize in early 2017, in cooperation with the Muslim Council of Elders, an international Conference on peace, coexistence and interreligious dialogue, which will also include the active representatives of the Christian Churches of the East. The news was relaunched by the Egyptian press during a meeting held last week; between Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa, Monarch of Bahrain, and Sheikh Ahmed al Tayyeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar.
The Muslim Council of Elders is an independent international organization created in July 2014 as a tool to promote peace between the Islamic community. Its office is situated in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), and among its objectives there is also the intention to "put an end to sectarianism and violence that has plagued the Muslim world for decades".
The direct involvement of al Azhar in the field of interreligious dialogue for peace and combating all forms of violence was also confirmed by the participation of Imam al Tayyeb in the meeting held in Geneva from September 30 to October 1, which brought together a delegation of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and representatives of the Muslim Council of Elders. During his stay in Geneva, Grand Imam al Tayeeb also gave a speech on the role of religious leaders in peace building, hosted in the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey - belonging to the same WCC - in the context of the seventieth anniversary of the foundation .
The meeting – highlights among other things the final statement of the Conference, sent to Agenzia Fides - the need for members of all religious communities to "have equal rights and responsibilities as citizens of their respective countries". For next year, the collaboration between WCC and the Muslim Council of Elders will also try to explore together ways to affirm the "vital contributions" women can make, especially to religiously inspired peace-building. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 03/10/2016)