Sayed Mohamad Ali El Husseini from Rome’s Conference: To protect religious pluralism, preserve it and insure its liberty, we need to have the spirit of peaceful coexistence, tolerance towards the beliefs of others and not to compel the others.
Sayed Mohamad Ali El Husseini, Secretary General of the Arab Islamic Council in Lebanon, emphasized during his participation in Rome conference, held on 12 November, that religious pluralism and sectarian diversity is a sign of God and that with tolerance and peaceful coexistence we preserve such sign.
Based on the verse ﴾And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed in that are signs for those of knowledge. ﴿ we recognize that diversity and variety is a divine law and a sign of God Almighty. Here, we need to pause and ponder for us to understand the wisdom of this diversity. It is well known that people are different in their thoughts, opinions and beliefs and this is human nature which cannot in anyway be disregarded as it is irrational to envision this human fabric in a single color. ﴾And if your Lord had willed, He could have made mankind one community﴿. This means that had God Almighty canceled their choice, canceled the vesting, and canceled the trust which He bestowed upon to create them all in one shape as God Almighty said ﴾Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans [before Prophet Muhammad] - those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness - will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve﴿. Here, God Almighty mentioned Muslims, Jews, Christians and Sabeans, acknowledged them all, and did not refute any; yet He stressed on religious diversity and variety and made faith in God and good deeds the balance of standards for which they will be rewarded by God.
Therefore, to protect religious pluralism, preserve it, and insure its liberty, we need to have the spirit of peaceful coexistence and tolerance. These two values cannot be comprehended unless they exist in an environment where thoughts, opinions and beliefs are diverse and are distant from coercion and religious tyranny. In our viewpoint, what is needed is the extension of liberty to Jews, Christians, Muslims and even Buddhists to worship divine religions. Intolerance and extremism should not be practiced against the other no matter who he/she is while openness, tolerance and freedom of religious practice should be spread. Therefore, the Jews would have the freedom to build their synagogue, Christians to build churches, Muslims to build mosques, and Buddhist to build temples. This is what we have learned from all prophets, from Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed (P)