Dr Hassan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri’s participation in the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa 2013
Dr Hassan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri participated in the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa 2013 held on May 24–26, 2013 at King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Center, Dead Sea in Jordan. Dr Hassan Qadri’s main session was Towards Coexistence with the following objectives: Future of Sunni-Shia relations; Secularism and political Islam; and Status of religious minorities. Also he participated in other sessions and events.
On Friday, 24 May, 2013, Dr Hassan Qadri joined the workshop entitled ‘Leveraging religious culture as a driver of inclusive growth’.
On Saturday, 25 May, 2013, Dr Hassan Qadri participated in a Televised Session entitled ‘Political Islam and Governance’. This session was developed in partnership with BBC Arabic. Here are main discussion points of the session: Inclusive growth; Private sector development; Intercommunal relations; Foreign policy implications.
On Sunday, 26 May, 2013, Dr Hassan Qadri participated in the main session of his three-day tour under WEF for Middle East and North Africa 2013. He discussed the main session ‘Towards Coexistence’ as a Rapporteur. Purpose of the session was to highlight the ‘Future of Sunni-Shia relations; Secularism and political Islam; and Status of religious minorities’.
Dr Hassan Qadri recorded his views in a video interview at the Insight Reporting Studio of WEF after the session ‘Towards Coexistence’.
Dr Hassan Qadri presented the following report at the end of the session ‘Towards Coexistence’:
Religious intolerance has been increasing globally over the years. The factors responsible for this are diverse. They include lack of education on religion, absence of educational institutions to promote the cult of peace and harmony in religious scholars, and an absence of a system of check and balance in religious seminaries and the production of religious literature. The politicization of religious trends, economic exploitation of poor religious developing world communities and the lack of independent foreign policies add to the dilemma.
To promote religious tolerance and interfaith and inter-sect dialogue, and encourage freedom of expression and problem-solving through rational interaction and metaphor among adversaries or religious opponents, a comprehensive educational system is needed to set up institutions to create a scientific religious approach on life. That will generate a bumper crop of poised and balanced religious scholars in different communities who would understand the socio-economic undercurrents of governments, their systems of good governance and social welfare mechanisms, abridging the gap between secular and religious diversities.
All religions of the world honour and respect minorities and emphasize observance of their rights. When scholars and clergy of various religions and sects attend the same religious courses carefully designed for promoting integration and coexistence, an equi-poised state of religious awareness will be generated that will exercise restraint on blasphemous trends in different communities, fostering harmony and multiculturalism and establishing durable peace at global level.
- While all the world religions promote serenity, balance, tolerance and self-restraint,
religious intolerance has been universal and historical. There is a need to
understand the dynamics of the sectarian divide.
- The political mechanisms developed for power play exploit religiosity of
poor and destitute communities. Politicizing religion, they make them serve
the interests of stakeholders. The religious divide is promoted to deny them
awareness of realities and the gulf widens, leading to intolerant and violent
behaviour. Societies in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and the countries
in North Africa have been fostered on the same design.
- The religious seminaries and madrasa system are also established to expand
and stabilize the existing extremist educational set-up of religious sects.
That forms the basis of current lopsided sectarian diversities. If repaired
and remedied, the things can take the progressive turn and extremist behaviour
will be eliminated.
- That is how the menace of intolerance exists within each religious community.
In Islam, Sunni, Shia, Deobandi and Sulfies; in Christianity Catholics and Protestants;
and in Judaism the denominations include the Orthodox, the Conservative and
the Reformists. While interpreting the scriptures, some go to extremes. To resolve
the issues, the scholars need to be enlightened on realistic approaches towards
- No religion denies good treatment to minorities. Islam also upholds the
observance of the rights of minorities. While modifying the educational system
toward enhancement of rational behaviour at inter-community level, the minorities
should also be involved and made wiser on the new vistas of religious education.
This will certainly discourage blasphemy and develop healthy attitude towards
freedom of speech and veneration of religious ideals of all the communities.
Islam has set an example to develop a multicultural society in Medina under
the prophetic guidance. That serves as an effective guide to eliminate sectarian
and inter-community straitened situations.
- The biographies of the Prophets of God—Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus, Muhammad—serve
as role models for inculcating constructive human behavior and annihilate factors
that stir negative tendencies amongst humans. Arrangements should be devised
for their extensive study. That will also bring various religious communities
closer and create cohesion and integration.
- In order to eliminate religious intolerance from world communities, revive sectarian harmony at global level, and repair the damage done to the cause of integration, coexistence and global peace, following measures can produce the coveted results.
- Educational institutions should be established to educate the religious
scholars, rabies and religious leaders of various religions and equip them with
scientific knowledge about the role of religion and methodology to promote unity,
cohesion, integration and harmony among diverse communities and its significance
toward conflict resolution and establishment of global peace.
- A six monthly course should be designed to educate the student scholars
on the speculative levels of conflicts and their futility and the definite levels
of the divide and their lethality. It should be executed to achieve a constructive
level of freedom of expression blended with veneration of sacrosanct elements
of all religions.
- The curricula of the six-month course should be carefully prepared by the
experts in socio-religious sciences steering the surge toward the development
of a salvation army capable to divest the human societies of conflicts and threats.
It should be specially designed to eliminate politicizing the religions.
- All the religious institutions should have effective monitoring system to
exercise a check on the rhetoric and the printed page—the print and electronic
media— to control what is being disseminated from the religious platforms. The
contents of speech and writings have to be molded into constructive material
to architect a healthy, productive and proactive human society.
- The monitoring system should be potentially effective enough to ensure that
the religious seminaries in various communities dedicate their curricula to
peace, harmony and elimination of sectarian bias. The mosques, churches, temples,
synagogues and shuls have to be purified of bigotry, extremism and radicalism.
- All countries must be encouraged to adopt independent foreign policies to
impede the power players from politicizing religions.
- The imparting of modern education along with religious education is urgently needed. If religious education, to the exclusion of the secular sciences, is imparted, many seminary students may turn into narrow-minded extremists. Because the people of Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan and Syria are poor, the extremist elements exploit them. They recruit the students who cannot afford secular education. Later, they are used for the so-called jihad which is a heinous practice contrary to Islamic doctrine.