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King Abdullah's Address at the UN Interfaith Conference - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz address to the High Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on Peace through Dialogue, New York, November 12, 2008:

In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate,

Your Majesties, Highnesses, Excellencies,

His Excellency the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations,

Your Excellency the Secretary-General of the United Nations

Peace and the mercy and blessings of God be with you.

In the presence of this gathering of international leaders and representatives and members of the General Assembly – the conscience of the United Nations – and in front of the whole world, we state with a unified voice that religions through which Almighty God sought to bring happiness to mankind should not be turned into instruments to cause misery. Human beings were created as equals and partners on this planet; either they live together in peace and harmony, or they will inevitably be consumed by the flames of misunderstanding, malice and hatred.

Dear Friends:

Throughout history, preoccupation with differences between the followers of religions and cultures has engendered intolerance, causing devastating wars and considerable bloodshed without any sound logical or ideological justification. It is high time for us to learn from the harsh lessons of the past and concur on the ethics and ideals in which we all believe. Matters on which we differ will be decided by our Omniscient Creator on the Day of Judgment. Every tragedy suffered in today’s world is ultimately a result of the abandonment of the paramount principle enunciated by all religions and cultures: The roots of all global crises can be found in human denial of the eternal principle of justice.

Terrorism and criminality are the enemies of every religion and every civilization. They would not have appeared except for the absence of the principle of tolerance. The alienation and the sense of loss which affects the lives of many of or young, leading them to drugs and crime, became widespread due to the dissolution of family bonds that Almighty God intended to be firm and strong.

Our dialogue, conducted in a constructive manner, should, by the grace of God, revive and reinstate these lofty ideals among peoples and nations. No doubt, God willing, this will constitute a glorious triumph of what is most noble over what is most evil in human beings and will grant mankind hope of a future in which justice, security and a decent life will prevail over injustice, fear and poverty.

Dear Friends:

I wish to thank HE the President of the General Assembly for convening this meeting. I am also grateful to my friends, the world’s leaders from the East and the West, for attending. I take pride in their friendship and participation. On this occasion permit me to invite the participants in the Madrid Dialogue to elect a committee to represent them and undertake the task of conducting the dialogue in the coming days and years.

I can assure them and all the states of the world, their peoples, their leaders and their organizations, that our concern for the dialogue stems from our Islamic faith and values and our compassion for the human condition in order to overcome its miseries.

We will continue what we have commenced, extending our hand to all those advocating peace, justice and tolerance.

In conclusion, I would like to remind all of you, and myself, of the words of the Holy Qur’an:

“O Mankind! We have created you from a single pair of a male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that ye may know each other. Very, the most honored of you in the sight of God is he who is the most righteous of you.”

Peace and the mercy and blessings of God be with you.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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