The KAICIID International Conference – United Against Violence in the Name of Religion: Supporting Religious and Cultural Diversity in Iraq and Syria – was a very important platform for dialogue and cooperation among religious leaders representing Christianity, Islam and other religious and ethnic groups from the region.
The gathering converged high level representatives from oriental churches, the Grand Muftis of Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan, Al Azhar, the Muslim World League, the Council of Senior Scholars from Saudi Arabia; the Association of Iraqi Muslim Scholars, Shia religious leaders, the Evangelical Communities of Egypt and Lebanon, the Mouwahiddoun Druze Community in Lebanon; the Yazidi Community in Iraq and the world, the Middle East Council of Churches, the World Council of Churches, the President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, among many others. These faith leaders came together with representatives of the numerous international organizations already doing vital work on the ground in the conflict regions of Iraq and Syria.
The meeting was designed to promote dialogue and to take real steps towards understanding and fostering cross-boundary cooperation that rejects and counteracts all forms of violence committed in the name of religion.
Among the resolutions decided upon by the participants in a series of working sessions were calls to:
Collect, study, acknowledge and promote success stories of interreligious and peace initiatives in the region.
Introduce interreligious dialogue education and training to students of religion, including developing interreligious dialogue curricula.
Train religious leaders to disseminate the values of diversity and citizenship.
Establish a network of local religious leaders who believe in diversity and pluralism.
Provide a social media platform to amplify important voices.
Train youth, and empower them to use social media.
Form a regional follow up committee to enact these recommendations.
KAICIID is committed to working with our partners to reduce conflict and build trust among and between communities. For us to faithfully accomplish this goal, we will rely on the support of policy makers, religious leaders and international organizations.
Join us, as we work towards converting the recommendations of this meeting into focused, effective outcomes that can bring about peace and reconciliation to the citizens of Iraq and Syria.
Faisal bin Muaammar
Why this Conference?
The violence committed in the name of religion in Iraq and Syria threatens the survival of religious minorities, the social and religious fabric of relations between religious communities, as well as Muslim religious institutions and communities in the region of Syria and Iraq.
KAICIID organized this special conference of influential religious leaders and policymakers to highlight existing initiatives and sketch out new responses to this violence. The meeting presented a multi-religious composition and perspective, connecting policy makers with the highest religious leaders and drawing in new voices and organizations.
The agenda of the meeting was action oriented, focusing on the local voices from the region whose communities have been most severely affected.
In its role as an international organization facilitating interreligious dialogue to build peace, KAICIID contacted religious leaders, leading policymakers from governments, international organizations, humanitarian and peace organizations active in the region. The meeting served both as a working meeting and as an opportunity to present a united front against violence.