Sat 06-05-2017 18:44 PM
ABU DHABI, 6th May, 2017 (WAM) -- Abu Dhabi, the universal capital of peace and tolerance, is witnessing the birth of a modern age, Hilf al-Fudul (Alliance of Virtue), among religions of the Abrahamic family. The historic discussions among representatives of the three religions representing the American Peace Caravan were hosted by Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, President of Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies.
This Alliance of Virtue brought together representatives of the three Abrahamic religions. Clergymen from the three religions, representing ten American states, agreed to continue their discussions and studies aimed at establishing a human ethical code, as a first step towards issuing an internationally binding document that combats anti-Muslim sentiment, antisemitism, and all forms of hatred, discrimination and bigotry.
In a press conference organised by the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, based in Abu Dhabi, following the three-day visit of the caravan to the city, caravan members highlighted their views and plans.
The outcomes from this workshop over the next 6 months included: 1) Each cleric will go to one another’s house, to have a meal and continue to strengthen relations that have been developed here in Abu Dhabi.
2) They will organise a joint event between Synagogues, mosques and churches by bringing their congregations together, to know one another and enhance relations of mutual respect.
3) They will undertake a community service project for a common goal 4) Each representative will stand up for one another against persecution or hatred 5) Each city will undertake their own retreat like what we have witnessed in Abu Dhabi 6) Participants will advance awareness on the importance of the Marrakesh Declaration and the Forum for Peace as an example of critical work being undertaken in the field of peace and religious freedom.
Culminating in January 2018, there will be a gathering in Washington D.C that will bring together religious leaders from Abrahamic faith communities.
The press conference was attended by Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, Dr. Mohammed Matar Al Kaabi, Secretary-General of the Forum for Peace and Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, Vice President of the Forum, and President of Zaytuna College, USA.
Members of the caravan committed to working to bring ten more states to these efforts, in preparation for the second convention of the caravan in Morocco next November.
Representing all caravan members, Rabbi Bruce Lustig offered an expression of gratitude to the UAE’s leadership and people, and to Abu Dhabi. Lustig also thanked Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah for his remarkable views, wishing the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies much success.
Dr. Mohammed Matar Al Kaabi reaffirmed the warm welcome extended by the UAE leadership to the American peace caravan, commending its efforts in activating the historical Marrakesh Declaration.
Al Kaabi highlighted the strong emphasis on tolerance and co-existence that the UAE has presented since its establishment. He also highlighted the willingness and unconditional support of the UAE leadership in enhancing world peace and support all peaceful efforts around the globe.
Al Kaabi also praised the efforts of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, which has succeeded in becoming a space for tolerance and love among all people, supported by the unique views of Shaykh Bin Bayyah. He also commended the caravan members, representatives of the different Abrahamic religions.
Al Kaabi noted that this is merely a first step that needs to be followed by numerous steps until a true international Alliance of Virtue is built.
Shaykh Hamza Yusuf noted the important steps taken by the UAE to spread the culture of tolerance and co-existence, inspired by the historical views of the founding father, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan.
Concluding the event, Shaykh Bin Bayyah thanked God in his Greatness for this valuable opportunity to build peace and dialogue among brave peacemakers, dedicated to love, fraternity, and tolerance.
He reaffirmed that civilizations do get sick, and that the cure lies in the hands of philosophers and scientists. "If others feed on war, we aim to dampen the conflagration and build peace," Bin Bayyah said, commending the roadmap achieved by the members of the caravan, as steps towards peace and co-existence. He noted that the task in hand is not easy, but also not impossible to achieve, with patience and determination.
Stressing the importance of dialogue and communications, Bin Bayyah referred to an Arabic saying: "Don't listen to what people say about me. Listen to me and I will tell you my own story," with the Shaykh adding that this gathering gave the opportunity for Rabbis, Pastors and Imams to do just that on behalf of themselves.
He stated that the blessed steps for an Alliance of Virtue first started in Abu Dhabi, but it is an imperative that it reaches the corners of our Earth. Bin Bayyah reflected on the establishment of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies in Abu Dhabi.
"Peace is an innate need in all humans," Bin Bayyah noted, highlighting the key role of men of clergy from all religions in supporting this cause, and working hand in hand with humanitarian organisations.