By Dipo Olowookere
Under the patronage of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies will convene its fourth annual Forum under the theme ‘Global Peace and the fear of Islam’ on December 11, 2017 in Abu Dhabi.
The event will be chaired by Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies.
The theme of this year’s forum was chosen to examine the common factors that potenially pose a threat to regional or global peace, examining hate speech and its societal and global impact on peace, through the prevalence of hyper-fear of Islam, commonly known as Islamophobia.
The Forum hope its fourth annual assembly necessitates the intellectual and social groundwork to enable Muslims and people of other faiths to coexist peacefully, which will be done through a select group of experts sharing their ideas and experiences.
The Forums Executive Director, Zeshan Zafar stated ‘this convergence is critical to vaccinate against deconstructive ideological notions that threaten security and further conflagration in Muslim Societies, fuelling a vicious cycle of mutual fear and suspicion which fosters hatred, racism and exclusion’.
Discussions at this year’s forum will also examine how religions can take up the challenge to promote the spirit of peace through examples of best practice, such as the successful birth of a modern day ‘Alliance of Virtue’ witnessed in Abu Dhabi, through the Forums 2017 flagship program, the American Peace Caravan.
This initiative for the first time brought Rabbis, Pastors and Imams in the U.S to develop multi-religious grassroots based solutions, to bridge the division and bring together religious communities based on their shared values.
The three-day Forum, which will be held in Abu Dhabi, will see the participation of more than 700 Arab and Muslim scholars, alongside an elite of high-level intellectual and religious dignitaries from around the world, representing the different intellectual, religious and cultural trends.
The illustrious gathering of scholars and intellectuals will deliberate on ways to reach peaceful intellectual outcomes to ward off potential risks against communities, and avoid the impact of exacerbating risks on different regions around the world.
They will also discuss means to create a global peaceful movement, similar to the pre-Islamic ‘Alliance of Virtue’, which opposes violence, radicalism and extremism through peaceful coexistence and conviviality.
The Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies was launched in 2014 based on the initiative of HE Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah and the generous support of the UAE.
The Forum’s various events attracted thousands of scholars and intellectuals and achieved significant success in terms of the prestigious attendance and academic outcomes to promote the culture of peace. It also garnered the attention of thinkers and decision-makers in the Islamic and Western worlds, and earned the recognition of numerous international entities and awards.
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