ABU DHABI, 13th December, 2017 (WAM) — Sheikh Abdallah bin Bayyah, President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, has announced that the Forum is launching an encyclopedic project whereby the precise notions of Islamic terms can be preserved and safeguarded from alienation to correct the language and conceptual notions used within Islam that have been distorted and manipulated to suit personal and political agendas.
Addressing the 4th ‘Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies’ held under the theme “World peace and Fear of Islam”, Sheikh Abdallah said, “We need people of intellect and wisdom to unify under one umbrella to tackle the global issues of today. These people need to provide the true narrative of peace in Islam.
He added, “This conglomeration is an opportunity in crystallising this narrative and presenting it to the world at large. The Forum for Promoting Peace, despite its characterisation as being exclusive to Muslim societies, also regards the Muslim relationship with others within non-Muslim majority societies to be from among its concerns. This is due to the negative impact a strained relationship between the two has upon Muslim and non-Muslim societies alike. For we believe that the means which we adopt for promoting peace within Muslim societies, they are the very same means which spread peace within all other societies, since the obstacles and impediments of peace are universal, regardless of location, and are a key reason for the growth of Islamophobia.
He further said “We must concede that the craft of religiosity, which is a human craft, although originally possessing the capacity to manufacture peace, can also be manipulated and transformed to produce the likes of ‘dirty bombs’, destroying both life and property. In light of this goal, the first venture is to correct the language and conceptual notions used within Islam that have been distorted and manipulated to suit personal and political agendas.”
For these reasons, he said, the Forum is launching an encyclopedic project whereby the precise notions of Islamic terms can be preserved and safeguarded from alienation. The second issue is dealing with rigid rules and concepts that need to be reflected by reality.
He illustrated, “The temporal dynamics of man and communities need to be captured by the Shariah to help deliver localised solutions that are inspired by its universal framework. In the absence of such knowledge, reflection and practice, Islamophobia and radicalism will prevail. However, since Islamophobia is the twin side of radicalism, the eradication of one will automatically relieve us of the other.
“We need to implement a three-stage process where each stage is not a static process in of itself but are rather continuous cycles that evolve alongside each other. The first cycle involves setting up the internal home in which we as Muslims unite under the reincarnation of peace in knowledge and practice. Let us start by first cleaning our own house.
“The second is critical dialogue with the wider community where the interface of Islam and other narratives is made accessible and permeable. Without such activities, Islam and Muslims will remain in an existential vacuum.”
“The third is making alliance with these wider communities as a collective force in combatting global problems that infiltrate the Muslim world. We should acknowledge that we have mutual values through which we can build our relationships on and help pave the way towards global peace. It is with this in mind that I would like to like to update you our new project called the American Peace Caravan. In this endeavour, we are selecting local community leaders, imams, rabbis and priests who have come together here in the Emirates and have fostered strategies whereby the correct message of Islam can be distilled back in their communities. This Abrahamic project is expanding and will eventually be actively shaping the Muslim image in 50 American cities, with the blessing of God.”
“Through the process of positive rapprochement and corroboration in doing good we hope will manifest the opening of a new era for relations between the family of Abrahamic religions. Likewise, that it may serve as a new period of cooperation between people of luminous minds for the correct realignment of mankind’s trajectory.
He concluded by saying, “When religions make peace and reconcile then this establishes the spirit of peace in the world, facilitating the prospects of achieving justice, virtue and treating injustices, quoting the Swiss theologian, Hans Kung as saying ‘there will be no peace among nations without peace among religions’.”