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Strengthening Ties with the Muslim Community: Promoting Dialogue, Understanding, Tolerance and Acceptance

On May 2, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, together with Secretary-General António Guterres, gave Keynote Remarks at a luncheon hosted at United Nations Headquarters by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and dedicated to the theme of “Strengthening Ties with the Muslim Community: Promoting Dialogue, Understanding, Tolerance and Acceptance.”

In his remarks, Archbishop Auza underlined that trust is fundamental to dialogue, understanding, tolerance and acceptance. Pope Francis’ 2017 trip to Egypt, the visit of the Secretary General of the OIC to the Vatican in March 2018, Pope Francis’ visits to the United Arab Emirates in February and Morocco in March and April were all opportunities to strengthen that mutual trust through walking together in dialogue. Archbishop Auza dedicated most of his remarks to highlighting four emphases from the landmark joint document entitled Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed Al-Tayyeb in Abu Dhabi on Feb 4. The first is that faith in God must lead us to see others as brothers and sisters to be supported, loved and protected, not attacked or killed; God’s name can never be used to justify murder or terrorism. The second is that religious, political, civil, educational and cultural leaders are call to promote dialogue, mutual cooperation, reciprocal understanding, tolerance, acceptance, and peaceful living together. Third, freedom of religion and belief, thought, expression and action are necessary cultural and political pre-requisites for a culture of acceptance. Finally, interreligious dialogue can and does catalyze political and culture dialogue, understanding, tolerance and acceptance.

The statement can be found here.