Cultural dialogue matchless for peace

Cultural dialogue matchless for peace

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Cultural dialogue matchless for peace

The Eurasian Economic Summit in Istanbul has joined religious leaders and representatives from all over the world. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, secretary-general of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), said nothing could replace dialogue for building a peaceful environment yesterday at the 15th Eurasian Economic Summit held in Istanbul.

Speaking at the intercultural dialogue session, İhsanoğlu underlined the importance of dialogue.
 “Peace culture has to be renewed, this is what we owe to future generations, we ought to do our bit for them,” he said. “A dangerous and ambiguous situation exists in the world nowadays,” he added.

Extremists intolerant

“Extremist rightist movements bother societies in Europe. These groups are intolerant of cultural diversity. Even though they are a minority now, we cannot ignore the potential of creating an unstable environment. When we take a glance at social media we see how fast hatred spreads. Islam and Muslims became a target for these groups. In these countries where Islamaphobia rises up, politicians back these groups. The outcome is exclusion for immigrants and abuse of human rights,” İhsanoğlu said.

İhsanoğlu recalled the massacre committed by an extreme rightist, Anders Behring Breivik, in which 77 people were killed last July in Norway.

 “That man was influenced by the anti-Muslim campaign. The OIC is against all kinds of discrimination. We reject extremism, anti-Semitism and anti-Christian approaches.”

Citing the United Nations’ “Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief,” which was signed in 2011, İhsanoğlu said the OIC aims to come together to build a dialog based on mutual understanding for this struggle. Caucasian Muslims Office chairman Şeyhülislam Allahşükür Paşazade, Turkey’s Chief Rabbi İshak Haleva, Apostolic Nuncio to Turkey Archbishop Antonia Lucibello, Mongolian Buddhist Association President Khamba Lama Natsagdorj, Estonian Business School Acting Rector Arno Almann and Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilization President Salim al-Hassani were among the other participants in the session.