Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam with Pope Francis Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam with Pope Francis 

Abdelsalam: Religions must work together for brighter future

Speaking at a joint Vatican-UN conference in Rome, the Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders warns that the war in Gaza has severely undermined faith in the international community.

Vatican News
War, faith, and interreligious dialogue.

Those were some of themes touched on by Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, the Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders, at a recent summit in Rome.

Judge Abdelsalam was speaking at ‘The Summit of the Future’ conference, jointly organised by the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network

War and the credibility of international institutions

In his address to the conference, the Secretary-General emphasised the importance of restoring hope and trust in the international community's capacity to secure peace in the current context of war.

He noted that our common future will hinge on this restoration, particularly in light of the deep wounds and divisions inflicted by events such as those in Gaza.

The role of religion

Judge Abdelsalam went on to stress the pressing need for community leaders and religious figures to play a more significant role in putting an end to these conflicts.

Highlighting the Muslim Council of Elders' successful track record of involving the voice of religions in addressing global challenges, Abdelsalam underlined the importance of community leaders and religious figures in resolving conflicts and disputes worldwide.

He cited the ongoing suffering in Gaza and criticized the global inaction to address it, particularly condemning the use of veto power to prevent ceasefire resolutions.

Document on Human Fraternity

The Secretary-General went on to reference the Document on Human Fraternity, signed in 2019 in Abu Dhabi by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb.

“As we consider the future of peace in our world,” Judge Abdelsalam said, “we not only recognize the relevance of this Document but also explore ways to implement its principles. These principles acknowledge that severe political crises, injustice, and the lack of fair distribution of natural resources contribute to ongoing deadly conflicts in many countries. We are also challenged to sustain the hope for peace through dialogue, coexistence, and human fraternity, especially for the millions of war victims who have witnessed the failure of these values to protect them from war and aggression."

The Muslim Council of Elders

The Secretary-General also discussed the role of the Muslim Council of Elders, an independent international organization which is dedicated to fostering peace within Islamic communities and between them and other societies.

He emphasized the need for a multi-level understanding of the dynamics of relationships, including those of violence and peace, and highlighted the invitation from United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to hold the Future Summit in September.

Judge Abdelsalam, finally, underscored the importance of enhancing interfaith and intercultural dialogue on issues of solidarity and sustainable development in the face of war and the pursuit of peace. He noted the Muslim Council of Elders’ involvement in initiatives such as the Global Faith Leaders Summit on Climate Change, aimed at addressing crises like climate change.

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06 March 2024, 17:55