The first week of February is about world interfaith dialogue. This was a charter prepared in 2010 based on The Common Word initiative of 2007. it happens to be a dialogue between the Abrahamic monotheistic religion like Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
The term interfaith dialogue refers to cooperative, constructive and positive interaction between people of various faiths and humanistic beliefs. These operate both at individual and at the level of institution. This is not about creating alternate religions, or to synthesize new beliefs, it is about promoting understanding between people of different faiths.
When begin the conversation of understanding and harmony suddenly those who you are taught to recognize as your enemies become people are more like us, that unlike us, that is rather overwhelming. Immaterial of individual cultures and ideologies, there are universal experiences that connect, like love, weeping, laughter. But to accept it in the other becomes difficult.
The biggest challenge here is to break down the stereotype of the other, particularly that exist within their own religious traditions and groups. Maybe it is time, religious groups, acknowledge and confess their role in fostering and contributing to social injustice and various conflicts.
The interfaith Harmony week was proposed by Prince Abdullah the second. It is essentially based on two commandments Love Of Good And Love Of The Neighbor.
There are a few preconditions to this
- Humility to respect the faith of the other.
- Commitment to ones on faith that lets you respect the other.
- Interconnected-ness of common issues.
- Empathy to view religion from the other.
- Hospitality to all.
- The UN supports this through resolutions on Tolerance, Dialogue between civilizations, cultural peace and combating defamation of religion. (i tried to access the document but failed.)
Here are the highlights from President Obama’s speech that outlined preconditions to meaningful interfaith dialogue. These were delivered at Islamic society if Baltimore on February 3rd, and National Prayer Breakfast on February 4th 2016
- Relationship building requires visiting each other
- Relationship building requires learning about the others history.
- Relationship requires an appreciation of the other
- Relationship requires telling the truth.
- Relationships depend on living up to our core theological principles and values.
- Relationships offer us a clear headed understanding of our enemies.
- Relationship help us overcome fear.
- Relationships provide solidarity.