In a webinar organized by IPI MENA, diplomats, leaders of civil society, and religious representatives across different faiths and sects decried violence committed in the name of religion following the brutal events that transpired in Paris and reiterated their pledge to advocating a message of peace.
IPI MENA Director Nejib Friji opened the conference on October 25th by stressing zero tolerance of using violence or extremism, and most pertinently when targeted against youth and teachers, as agents of peace. He highlighted the importance of how a culture of peace and a united interreligious alliance is necessary to combat and counter violent extremism by fostering understanding, tolerance, and reciprocal respect.
The French Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain, H.E Jérôme Cauchard highlighted France’s fight against violent extremism, for a comprehensive approach for a peaceful coexistence, and pointed to Bahrain as an example of interfaith diversity and unity.
Mr. Mounir Bouchenaki, Advisor to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), offered insights from initiatives carried out by the organization from a multilateral standpoint, wherein helping societies recognize peace and coexistence through enforcing a foundation built-in education and culture, enables societies to become more resilient against radicalization and violence.
Reverend Hani Aziz, Pastor of the National Evangelical Church of Bahrain reiterated his attachment to the respect of all cultures, religions, and civilizations. He called on faiths’ representatives to unite against violent extremism and radicalism.
Dr. Abdulla Ahmed Al Maqabi, Law Courts Directorate, Ministry of Justice & Islamic Affairs & Waqf, Mr. Ebrahim Nonoo, Representative of the Jewish Community in Bahrain, Mr. Sushil Muljimal, Chairman of the Krishna Temple in Bahrain, Ms. Tahera Jaberi, Representative of the Baha’i Faith in Bahrain, and Pastor Isaac Inayat, Urdu Language Congregation, National Evangelical Church of Bahrain all denounced the incorrect manipulation of religion to legitimize personal agendas, violence and conflicts, and stressed their commitment to tolerance, mutual respect and durable peace.