His Eminence Dr Mohammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, general secretary of the Muslim World League visited the World Council of Churches (WCC) in the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland on 9 November, where he discussed with WCC leaders both the meaning and importance of “just peace.”
In his opening remarks, Al-Issa said: “Peace cannot be achieved without total justice, abstract justice can only lead to false peace.”
He added: “Religious freedom is a human and logical necessity, a given if we understand the holy texts correctly.”
WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit welcomed Al-Issa to the Ecumenical Center. Tveit reflected: “As religious leaders we have a special responsibility to elevate the sanctity of the life of all human beings created by the Holy God. As communities of faith we are called to show this as love to one another, in relations of respect and care to everybody.”
Tveit continued: “We believe in one God that has created one humanity to live together with its diversity and differences. We are here to share our reflections and commitment to show together what we believe this means in practice. Together we should call for the care of the life of everybody created by God. Therefore, we must be accountable to those are searching for justice and peace in our use of our Holy texts.
Al-Issa responded: “I am very satisfied to be present and learn more about the distinguished work of the World Council of Churches on peace, unity and co-existence. We seek to achieve the same humanitarian objectives within our religions.”
“One of the most important tasks of the World Muslim League is the defeat of virtual extremist messages that are disseminating the world with hatred,” added Al-Issa. “We have to combat extremists, the means and media used by them. Their objectives are purely material. We all have to be well informed, open to dialogue and new information, keep the truth and listen to all parties”
Al-Issa underlined: “We might differ, but we have to achieve love and humanity together. Religions have nothing to do with terrorism and violence. It is our responsibility to cleanse Islam from incorrect ideas.”
He added: “World religions are neutral, they have nothing to do with profits and individual ambitions. The ones who kidnap religions are the ones that create the problem.”
Al-Issa concluded: “We have to unite and co-operate, those in all different religions and denominations; first reconciliation among us, and then show this paradigm to the rest of the world. As soon as we transform ourselves, we will be able to present mindful and unbiased solutions to others as well. In order to make an impact we would need to work together - through interreligious dialogue - in a sustainable way, neutral, with no political slogans. We need to develop strategic plans together and then make an impact to the world.”
The Muslim World League is an international non governmental Islamic organization based in the Holy City of Makkah.
Photos available and free to use (Credit: Marcelo Schneider/WCC)