The World Interfaith Harmony Week is the latest initiative by HM King Abdullah II of Jordan to foster harmony between both people of the same faith and those of different faiths.
The Amman Message
In 2005, under the directive of HM King Abdullah II of Jordan, HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad drafted the three points of the Amman Message. These points aimed at building a consensus among the Islamic community on what “Islam is and what it is not, and what actions represent it and what actions do not. Its goal was to clarify to the modern world the true nature of Islam and the nature of true Islam.”
George Yeo, the Foreign Minister of Singapore, declared in the 60th Session of the U.N. General Assembly (about the Amman Message): “Without this clarification, the war against terrorism would be much harder to fight.”
A Common Word
In 2007, again at HM King Abdullah II’s behest, HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad wrote the ‘A Common Word Between Us and You’. This document declared the common ground between Islam and Christianity based on the two great commandments of ‘Love of God, and Love of the Neighbour’.
As His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI noted on his visit to the King Hussein Mosque in Amman, Jordan:
‘the more recent A Common Word letter …. echoed a theme consonant with my first encyclical: the unbreakable bond between love of God and love of neighbor, and the fundamental contradiction of resorting to violence or exclusion in the name of God (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 16)’.
This document has been a starting point for dialogue, cooperation and worldwide co-ordination, between major leaders and scholars of the Muslims and Christian community. It has lead to historic meetings (such as the first delegation of Muslims to meet the pope at the Vatican), conferences, and ongoing dialogue.
World Interfaith Harmony Week
In 2010, HM King Abdullah II addressed the 65th UN General Assembly and proposed the idea for a ‘World Interfaith Harmony Week’ to further broaden his goals of faith-driven world harmony by extending his call beyond the Muslim and Christian community to include people of all beliefs, those with no set religious beliefs as well. A few weeks later, HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad presented the proposal to the UN General Assembly, where it was adopted unanimously as a UN Observance Event.
The World Interfaith Harmony Week, like all the previous endeavors of HM King Abdullah, is not a call to water down one’s faith, but rather it’s a call to respect our differences and personal beliefs and to unite around the basic principles that people of all beliefs agree upon and to understand that harmony can only come if we build upon a solid foundation of dialogue that has “Love of God and love of the neighbor or, love of Good and love of the neighbor” as its core principle for engagement.
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