Geneva, Asharq Al-Awsat- Secretary-General of the Muslim World League [MWL], Dr. Abdullah al Turki told Asharq Al-Awsat that his organization has taken steps to set up interfaith conferences across the world, and that he believed conferences for interfaith dialogue to be one of the most powerful tools in spreading a culture of dialogue across the world.
Al Turki revealed that the MWL had taken steps to establish interfaith dialogue conferences in Africa, South-East Asia, South America, North America, Eastern Europe, and throughout a number of Islamic countries.
Dr. al Turki stressed that the King Abdullah initiative for interfaith and cultural dialogue had global dimensions, and that several international institutions and organizations were involved in preparing the program for these conferences, although he said that this initiative is still in the early stages.
The MWL Secretary-General also told Asharq Al-Awsat that the initiative for interfaith dialogue had not received the required amount of international media coverage, and this constitutes an obstacle to the initiative which requires further media efforts in order to educate the public on its aims and objectives.
Al Turki added that one of the largest obstacles to implementing King Abdullah’s initiative for interfaith dialogue is a negative outlook, and the failure of many previous initiatives weighs on people’s minds. However Dr. al Turki stressed that King Abdullah’s initiative possesses the means and planning to allow it to succeed.
Dr. al Turki also told Asharq Al-Awsat that many international institutions and organizations had contacted the MWL and put in requests to participate in the interfaith conferences that it will hold.
The MWL Secretary-General said that his department was closely monitoring this initiative, and that the MWL was in talks with many international leaders that specialize in the field of dialogue, which means that they are convinced of the importance of King Abdullah’s initiative.
Dr. al Turki informed Asharq Al-Awsat that some of the objectives of King Abdullah’s initiative have already been achieved simply by convincing the public of the importance of interfaith dialogue, and capitalizing on the growing desire to confront those who sow conflict and strife and wish to cause problems between people.
The MWL Secretary-General also stressed to Asharq Al-Awsat that his organization was working towards creating a culture of dialogue by using the media and holding [interfaith] conferences, workshops, and specialized meetings, in order to benefit from dialogue and exchange of ideas.