In February 2019, the UAE hosted the Human Fraternity Meeting, organised by the Muslim Council of Elders, with the aim to enhance dialogue on co-existence of humans globally. It further aimed to tackle the intellectual extremism, strengthen human relations and establish bases for such relations based on mutual respect. The meeting was held in conjunction with the visit of Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif and Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church.
Human Fraternity Document
Human Fraternity Document for World Peace and Living Together
The firm conviction that authentic teachings of religions invite us to remain rooted in the values of peace; to defend the values of mutual understanding, human fraternity and harmonious coexistence.
Freedom is a right of every person. Each individual enjoys the freedom of belief, thought, expression and action. The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings. This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derives. Therefore, the fact that people are forced to adhere to a certain religion or culture must be rejected, as too the imposition of a cultural way of life that others do not accept.
Justice based on mercy is the path to follow in order to achieve a dignified life to which every human being has a right.
Dialogue, understanding and the widespread promotion of a culture of tolerance, acceptance of others and of living together peacefully would contribute significantly to reducing many economic, social, political and environmental problems that weigh so heavily on a large part of humanity.
Dialogue among believers means coming together in the vast space of spiritual, human and shared social values and, from here, transmitting the highest moral virtues that religions aim for. It also means avoiding unproductive discussions.
The protection of places of worship – synagogues, churches and mosques – is a duty guaranteed by religions, human values, laws and international agreements. Every attempt to attack places of worship or threaten them by violent assaults, bombings or destruction, is a deviation from the teachings of religions as well as a clear violation of the related international laws.
Terrorism is deplorable and threatens the security of people, be they in the East or the West, the North or the South, and disseminates panic, terror and pessimism. However, this is not due to religion, even when terrorists instrumentalise it. It is rather, due to an accumulation of incorrect interpretations of religious texts.
The concept of citizenship is based on the equality of rights and duties; under which all enjoy justice. It is therefore crucial to establish in our societies the concept of full citizenship.
Good relations between East and West are indisputably necessary for both. They must not be neglected, so that each can be enriched by the other’s culture through fruitful exchange and dialogue.
It is an essential requirement to recognise the right of women to education and employment, and to recognise their freedom to exercise their own political rights. Moreover, efforts must be made to free women from historical and social conditioning that runs contrary to the principles of their faith and dignity.
The protection of the fundamental rights of children to grow up in a family environment, to receive nutrition, education and support, are duties of the family and society. Such duties must be guaranteed and protected so that they are not overlooked or denied to any child in any part of the world.
The protection of the rights of the elderly, the vulnerable people with determination (the ones with special needs) and the oppressed is a religious and social obligation that must be guaranteed and defended through strict legislation and the implementation of the relevant international agreements.
Al-Azhar and the Catholic Church ask that this document become the object of research and reflection in all schools, universities and educational institutes, thus helping to educate new generations to bring the good and peace to others, and to be defenders everywhere of the rights of the oppressed and of the least of our brothers and sisters.