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In partnership with the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence Conference on Islam and Human Fraternity Convenes

05 Feb 2024

In partnership with the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence Conference on Islam and Human Fraternity Convenes

05 Feb 2024

His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Cabinet Member and Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, inaugurated the Conference on “Islam and Human Fraternity”. The conference is organized by Trends Research and Advisory in partnership with the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence and the University Platform for the Study of Islam “PLURIEL” at Trends headquarters in Abu Dhabi. The congress highlights the impact of the Human Fraternity Document for Coexistence.    It coincides with the International Day of Human Fraternity, and the 5th anniversary of the document endorsement. The conference is held in the presence of a gathering of religious, cultural and academic dignitaries from around the world.


His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan said in the keynote address of the three-day conference that “we who live and work in the United Arab Emirates are delighted to welcome all of you who have traveled from abroad to Abu Dhabi for the fourth edition of the Islam and Human Fraternity Conference.  You have come together here as an international group of brothers and sisters to examine various aspects of working together as Muslims and Christians to promote peaceful coexistence and human fraternity.  I thank Dr. Mohammed Al Aly and his colleagues at Trends Research and Advisory for organizing such an interesting and important conference, and for assembling such a prominent group of speakers and participants.  And I thank all of you for this opportunity to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Abu Dhabi Document on Human Fraternity.”

“Today, on this important occasion, and as we observe the International Day of Human Fraternity, it is with great appreciation that we say thank you to His Holiness, Pope Francis, and to His Eminence, Imam Ahmed El Tayeb.  We thank them for this extremely important document, which they issued during their historic visit to the UAE in 2019.  After five fruitful years, this Document on Human Fraternity continues to exemplify the moral force that we all must exert if we are to meet the great global challenges of the twenty-first century.”

HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak said “We also express our great pride in the visionary leadership of our president, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.  His support and sponsorship of this remarkable document is a testament to his strong conviction that human fraternity and peaceful coexistence must be an important component of a good, moral global society.  We are proud that the Abu Dhabi Document on Human Fraternity has allowed the entire world to observe His Highness’s positive advocacy for multi-culturalism, and for promoting human dignity, peace, and prosperity for all.”

HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak explained “The themes of this conference, and its topics of discussion and analysis, seem to have been on the minds of His Holiness, the Pope, and His Eminence, the Grand Imam, when they issued the Document on Human Fraternity five years ago.  I begin by quoting that historic document, where it says, quote:

While recognizing the positive steps taken by our modern civilization in the fields of science, technology, medicine, industry, and welfare, especially in developed countries, we wish to emphasize that, associated with such historic advancements, great and valued as they are, there exists both a moral deterioration that influences international action and a weakening of spiritual values and responsibility.” End quote.

HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak explained:

“This statement defines the main challenge human societies face, and I believe it frames well the goals and objectives of your conference.  The challenge is how to ensure that humanity can continue making those remarkable advances, while preserving and strengthening our moral character, and nurturing spiritual values and the sense of responsibility for all human beings.”

 Furthermore, here, and in reference to the title of your conference, Islam and Human Fraternity, allow me to quote the Holy Qur’an where it says, in translation:

Had God willed, He could have made you a single nation.—but in order to test you in what He revealed to you.  So vie with one another in virtue.”

God also directs us in the Holy Qur’an that:

“There must be no coercion in matters of faith.”

Commenting on this aspect, HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak said:

No nation, no society will peacefully convert everyone to a single religious belief, nor would they attempt it.  The best we can do—and it is very good—is to vie with one another in virtue and good works.  In my view, this is the essence of human fraternity as we know it. In the Qur’an, God also tells all human beings:

“O people! We have created you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.”

HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak said:

He said “I am pleased to observe that all of us here today are clearly committed to understanding and responding to that command to “know one another.”  As we get to know one another, we will talk to one another, we will learn from one another.  We will work peacefully and productively together.  We will enhance our ability to bring hope and optimism to cultural and religious relationships that have long been characterized by doubt and lack of trust.  We will be able to find common ground among people of all nations, cultures, and faiths.”

“Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance.  We Muslims confidently and proudly declare that tolerant behavior is a hallmark of our Islamic heritage.  We believe strongly that human harmony and brotherhood unite us with Christians, and people of other religious faiths.  We share with them a respect for human life, a desire for peace and safety, and an imperative to appreciate each other as valued human beings.”

“Islam commands its adherents to always act as good human beings.  Good human beings work for peace, cooperation, prosperity, and the well-being of society.  Good human beings respect one another and seek to understand each other’s good motives.  Good human beings act on the conviction that tolerance and human fraternity can have a positive impact on all aspects of society.  That impact includes maintaining good government, solidifying our confidence and pride in our own Islamic heritage and culture, building a moral society, and uniting us with all members of our community in the virtues of justice, equality, tolerance, brotherhood, sisterhood, and prosperity.” Said Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak.

“The Abu Dhabi Document on Human Fraternity echoes these beliefs, aspirations, and convictions when it asks everyone to commit themselves (and I quote):

to work strenuously to spread the culture of tolerance and of living together in peace, putting an end to wars, environmental decay and moral and cultural decline”.  End quote.

“Muslims, Christians, and all people of faith around the world support this statement and strongly believe that human fraternity will sustain us and will provide us with the energy, dedication, and resolve to persevere and to succeed in making the world a better place for all.”

HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak  said: “Thank you for your resolve to work to develop innovative strategies for how to unleash the power of tolerance and human fraternity to solve the great global challenges of our time.  I admire your conviction that our shared beliefs, values, and ideas can bind us close together and can help us create a better world for all.”

“My best wishes for a successful and productive conference.”

His Holiness Pope Francis, the Pope of the Catholic Church had a message to the conference, delivered on his behalf by Cardinal. Ayuso. The Pope expressed his hope that the document of Human Fraternity would be taught in all schools around the world and that the principles enshrined in it would be applied in various parts of the world. His Holiness hoped that all obstacles that prevent this perception from being achieved would be removed. The Pope stressed the fact that knowing the other and building mutual trust between different people is part of the tools for achieving peace.

He said that dialogue and knowledge of the other through education shall help achieve human fraternity, and that with human intelligence we can overcome the challenges posed to humanity by the advent of artificial intelligence.

Cardinal Ayusu stressed that wisdom requires openness and dialogue, not closure that only leads to hatred. He indicated that lack of knowing the other was a problem of the past and still a problem of today. This will continue if we do not learn how to get to know the other and know him better.

He explained that changing the negative image that we hold of the other is a must to achieve a unanimous peace unanimous for all. The Cardinal explained that peace without education based on respect and knowledge of the other is a fragile and unsustainable peace.

He pointed out that it is imperative that we devote the necessary time to listen to oneself and to understand the other who disagrees with me so that we can live together on the same earth.  He stressed the need to build a mutual bridge for dialogue and accommodate different opinions. He said that this is not a waste of time, but a gain for humanity.

His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Abdel Salam, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Elders, delivered  a speech in which he said that  the adoption of the International Day of Human Fraternity on February 4 of each year marks the anniversary of the birth of the most important document in modern human history, the “Document of Human Fraternity.” It was endorsed on the same day in 2019 by two of the most important religious figures in the world, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, and Pope Francis, Pope of the Catholic Church, in Abu Dhabi, the capital of Human fraternity.

He added that this historic document represented an appeal to all members of the human family to promote peace, mutual respect, and social harmony on the basis of respect for all groups and the preservation of their rights.

He expressed his pride that the Abu Dhabi Document for Human Fraternity has become a source of inspiration for all those who love goodness, coexistence and peace around the world. The document has been adopted by many countries, political leaders and leaders of religions, in addition to its inclusion in many education programs in the most prestigious international universities.

I consider the Document on Human Fraternity a qualitative and constructive step on the road to build bridges of communication between the people of all religions throughout the world. Dr. Mohamed Abdel Salam called on religious leaders to reflect on the model of the Document on Human Fraternity, in order to plant the seeds of trust and hope in God. Achieving human fraternity means that our world can emerge from the effects of this collective ordeal.

Dr. Mohammed Abdullah Al-Ali, CEO of Trends Research and Advisory, expressed his appreciation and sincere thanks for His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan for his gracious attendance and comprehensive speech at the conference. Dr. Al-Ali praised the partnership role of the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence in convening the conference. He thanked His Eminence the Grand Imam Prof. Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, of Al-Azhar, and His Holiness Pope Francis, Pope of the Catholic Church, for their valuable remarks to the conference and support of its message. Dr. Al-Ali welcomed hundreds of specialists from various prestigious academic institutions, who come from more than 40 universities and research institutions from 4 continents and 17 different countries. They will participate  in 12 research seminars and 5 lectures, making the conference the largest and most important academic event organized on the issue of human fraternity. It is a subject that must receive the attention it deserves in today’s world, which is in dire need of the values of fraternity and coexistence.

” This conference reflects our keenness at Trends Research and Advisory to work with various international academies and think tanks to promote the values of human fraternity and dialogue between different societies and cultures. This is a core goal that Trends has been working on since its establishment through research programs and scientific events.

Dr. Mohammed Al Ali added that the conference acquires greater significance as it coincides with the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Document on Human Fraternity, which was embraced by the UAE. The UAE has consistently worked to spread the principles of the document at the global level by transforming its endorsement date into an “International Day of Human Fraternity.” This move was based on a strong belief that these values are humanity’s path to global peace and prosperity.

Dr. Al-Ali explained that Trends was at the forefront of think tanks that paid attention to the document and the values it contains. The center has a research program entitled “Tolerance and Coexistence”, through which it publishes, in both Arabic and English, research papers and solid studies dealing with the values of tolerance, coexistence and cultural interaction. Moreover, Trends has distinguished effort in analysing and criticizing the unfounded ideas of extremist and terrorist groups. Trends has organized many events in which a group of intellectuals, and specialists raised the awareness about these values. Dr. Al-Ali said, today we are crowning this effort by convening this World Conference.

Dr. Al-Ali concluded his remarks by saying: “Today, I feel happy, even proud, that Trends Research and Advisory, the University Platform for the Study of Islam and the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence were able to convene and make this conference a success. The center was able to overcome the traditional obstacles of cooperation between academic and research institutions in the Arab and Western worlds. My thanks are due to the Trends team, the University Platform, and the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence.  I hope that this conference will achieve the success to which we all aspire in consolidating the values of human fraternity globally.

Dr. Michel Younes, General Coordinator of the University Platform for the Study  of Islam, praised the efforts of Trends Research  and Advisory in partnership with the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence in convening and supporting the conference, stressing the importance of the conference in light of the challenges facing the world today, the most important of which are extremism and exclusion.

Dr. Michel said that the selection of the subject of human fraternity as the title of our conference emanates directly from the event that characterized the document of human fraternity. He indicated that the document serves as a strong voice against extremism in the name of religion and a call for non-exclusion and rejection.

Dr. Michel explained that the university platform for studies on Islam, which includes in the tenth year of its launch one hundred and eighty researchers in more than twenty-five countries, constitutes a link between academics from different cultures, civilizations and backgrounds.

He stressed that the conference aims to promote the concept of human fraternity through scientific dialogue between various disciplines, analyze the document of human fraternity and its impact on relations between religions and cultures, and provide practical recommendations to promote the concept of human fraternity in various fields.

He said the conference seeks to promote the concept of human fraternity as a fundamental human value for achieving peace and stability in the world.

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