International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue

The King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) is based in Vienna and is an alliance seeking to turn the tide of religion inciting violence and fueling conflict, by bringing adherents of different faiths together, to overcome – through dialogue – the chasm between ‘Your God’ and ‘My God’ in the hopes of achieving a truly inter-religious international community.

Faisal Bin Abdulrahman Bin Muaammar, secretary-general of the intergovernmental organisation KAICIID, says

“There is no such thing as a religious conflict”

but than I wonder if he is blind for all those groups who misuse their religion to oppress others.

Throughout the ages people have used the name of their god to get more power themselves. Most often that god was used as an excuse or hiding what they really want to get. Several people fighting in the name of their god loved to treat others badly, not minding raping young and older females or even boys and torturing lots of people so that they could show their power.

Holy men and their holy books have etched a trail of tears and blood in the annals of human history. From the depths of peaceful temples, mobs have been dispatched with flaming torches; from steeples and minarets messages of hatred have floated down upon pious heads bent in prayer. The last few years once more it looks like there are several religious wars going on. For too long religion has incited violence and fueled conflict.

English: Based on data from a 2006 poll by the...

Based on data from a 2006 poll by the Pew Research Center, this graph records the distribution of feelings of U.S. Muslims on the topic of suicide bombings, separated by age group. Pew Research Center release at http://pewresearch.org/assets/pdf/muslim-americans.pdf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The centre, formed in 2012, estimates that eight out of every 10 people in the world identify with some form of organised religion and most all of them are likely to classify themselves as peace-loving individuals. When we look at the ciphers of terrorist acts we also can see that it is only a very tiny minority which took to terrorism to get their believes spread. Most terrorist acts were done by non-believing people. Agnostic had as such also no god or anybody else to pay responsibility.

Sadly, according to Bin Muaammar, politicians and extremists have ‘hijacked’ the inherently tolerant and peaceful nature of religious practice for their own – often violent and divisive – ends.

Only through sustained dialogue, he said, can people be empowered to overcome their fear of the ‘Other’, and work towards a more inclusive and tolerant world.

Over 2013 and in January 2014 Pew Research Center has been presenting a record of the tracking of religious restrictions and hostilities around the world since 2007. Their report found that a third of the 198 countries and territories studied in 2012 had a high or very high level of social hostilities involving religion, the highest share in the six years of the study. These hostilities – defined in the study as acts of religious hostility by private individuals, organizations or groups in society – increased in every major region of the world except the Americas. The religion-related terrorist violence taking place in one-in-five countries, in 2012 went up from 9% in 2007 to 20%.

What we noticed more, even in Europe’s capital Brussels was that there where certain Islamic figures finding it all right to bother women. Women were harassed because of religious dress in nearly a third of countries in 2012 (32%), up from a quarter in 2011 (25%) and less than one-in-ten (7%) in 2007.

While there may not be a direct causal connection between government regulations and social hostilities involving religious attire, the data of the Pew Research Center show that harassment of women over religious dress occurs more often in countries where the wearing of religious symbols or attire is regulated by any level of government.

Globally, sectarian violence took place in nearly one-in-five of the world’s countries in 2012 (18%), up from 8% in 2007, though the Middle East and North Africa was the most common region for sectarian violence; half of all countries in the region in 2012 experienced this type of violence.

In a single year, between 2011 and 2012, the number of countries experiencing a very high level of religious hostilities went from 14 to 20. Six of those countries – Syria, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Thailand, Sri Lank and Burma – experienced relatively few hostilities in 2011 compared to 2012.

Things also worsened for religious minorities, according to the study, with 47 percent of the countries studied reporting incidents of targeted abuse of minorities, up from 38 percent in 2011.

On paper, the U.N. is already committed to the issue of inter-faith understanding and peace through dialogue. Agencies like its Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC) have as their mission statement the goal of “promoting understanding between countries or identity groups, all with a view toward preventing conflict and promoting social cohesion.”

But high-level visions cannot become a reality without focused efforts to engage the grassroots, as KAICIID’s work has highlighted. Only in its second year of operations, the organisation already boasts tangible results, including a successful interfaith dialogue on the Central African Republic, where hundreds have been killed and over 500,000 displaced since the outbreak of a conflict in 2012.

Hillary Wiesner, KAICIID’s director of programmes says the organisation wants to work with religious communities from the inside, not as a secular institution from the outside, adding this approach helps foster a sense of trust between the organisation and local faith leaders.

According to her

“Religion is not reducible to a subset of culture; the religious and spiritual dimensions in the lives of individuals and society are much deeper than that. We need to promote responsible ways of living out these beliefs for the betterment of all people.”

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Additional reading:

  1. Key findings about growing religious hostilities around the world
  2. Are you religious, spiritual, or do you belong to a religion, having a faith or interfaith
  3. Do you believe in One god
  4. Anti-church movements and Humanism
  5. More Mexicans start questioning Catholic doctrine and the concept of the Trinity
  6. Identification with Catholicism has declined throughout the Latin American region
  7. More Muslim children than Christian children growing up in our cities
  8. Amount of Muslims living in your country
  9. Malaysia requires sole use of God’s title for Muslims
  10. The world Having to face a collective failure
  11. Do Al-Qaeda, Islamic State, ISIS and ISIL belong to true Islam
  12. ISIS, Mosul Dam and threatening lives of those who want to live in freedom
  13. Condemning QSIS or the self-claimed Islamic state ruler, al- Baghdadi their extremist ideologies and to clarify the true teachings of Islam
  14. Quran can convert to Christianity
  15. 34th World Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF)
  16. African misery and women inequality
  17. Europe and much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism becoming No God Zones
  18. Brussels’ Jewish Museum re-opened on Sunday
  19. Abdelhamid Abaaoud brain of Molenbeek’s network dismantled in their hideaway at Verviers
  20. Niger churches burned in Charlie Hebdo protest
  21. Israel not building up their weaponry for nothing
  22. Faith because of the questions
  23. Looking for something or for the Truth and what it might be and self-awareness
  24. Improving the world by improving the Faith

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  • MSF Offers Rape Counseling to Hundreds of Victims in Bangui (voanews.com)
    A rising number of women have experienced sexual violence since the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) descended into a spiral of sectarian conflict in 2013. Many are left with lifelong trauma. But the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders has opened centers for rape victims to give care and psychological support in several locations in the capital Bangui. Emilie IOB has more on the effort for VOA News.
  • Obama’s ‘problem is he was born a Muslim,’ Rev. FranklinGraham says (gunnyg2.wordpress.com) > View original
    The influential Evangelical leader Rev. Franklin Graham said President Barack Obama was “born a Muslim” since the religion is “passed through the father’s seed,” in a CNN interview Friday.Graham’s comments came in response to the recently released Pew Research Center survey that showed nearly one in five Americans incorrectly believed Obama was a Muslim.
  • Manufactured Terror, Not the Economy, Will Dominate 2016 Election (sgtreport.com)
    Propaganda and the endless horror of ISIS sensationalized by the establishment media will overshadow worries about the economy during the next election. According to McClatchy, terrorism is the number one issue dominating the political debate leading into next year’s election.
  • Report: Jews continue to leave Europe (whitenewsnow.com)
    The last several decades have seen a precipitous drop in the number of Jews living in Europe, according to a poll published Monday by the Pew Research Center.

    The report estimated that there were 3.2 million European Jews in 1960, which fell to 2 million by 1991, and to 1.4 million in recent years.

  • Jew Writer Cries As Jews Continue To Flee Europe (dailyslave.com)
    A Jew named Ethan Epstein writing for the Weekly Standard is crying about how Jews are fleeing Europe like the rats that they are.  He even had time to cry about some comments made about the Jewish Holocaust hoax from the Pew Research Center that he wasn’t happy with.
  • Most US investigative journalists fear their government spies on them (theguardian.com)
    Reporters who covered national security, foreign affairs or the government were the most convinced., with 71% of them saying they believed data was being collected from their communications.

    Despite their concerns about surveillance, it hasn’t stopped the journalists from pursuing stories. Just 14% claim to have decided not to continue with an investigation or to reach out to a source.

  • Pew Research Report: A Third Of Millienials Have No Religion (addictinginfo.org)
    The religious right will be quaking in their boots, or perhaps saying that atheists are lying, when they read a new report (PDF) from the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life. A third of Millennials, particularly the under 30 group, are declaring themselves religiously unaffiliated. That is an unprecedented number, and it is on the rise. Right now, according to Pew, 46,000,000 Americans are non-religious. Now, more than ever, America is on the road to eradicating religion. Perhaps the rabidly religious know this, too, which could be why there has been so much gnashing of teeth regarding “sins” such as abortion and marriage equality lately.
  • Thousand of Communists attack ballroom dance in Vienna (topconservativenews.com)
    The Antifa gang network, which is glorified by American left-wing groups like the SPLC, carried out mass violence in Vienna.

    Thousands of masked Communists attempted to storm a ballroom dancing event in Vienna. The event is attended by leaders of the conservative Austrian Freedom Party.

  • Arms transfers to South Sudan ensure a violent future for a people desperate for peace (trendingnewsz.com)
    Recent conflicts in Liberia and Sierra Leone have taught us that the supply of arms to one side during a conflict triggers demand for replenishment on the other side. The inevitable arms race that follows only escalates and prolongs the conflict. Any arms shipment to either side is a step backwards on South Sudan’s pathway out of the crisis and ushers in the prospects of pushing the country into an ungovernable theatre of armed violence, including ethnic cleansing and organized crime.

    These conflicts have also shown that arming one side in the conflict is tantamount to arming all sides. In South Sudan there is already a wealth of evidence that the arms and ammunition acquired by the Government of South Sudan have fallen into the hands of opposition forces. We have seen government forces defect to join the opposition, taking their arms and ammunition with them. And opposition forces have captured government arms during battles.

  • Japanese PM: We Will Never Forgive Terrorists (teaparty.org)

    A visibly upset Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has vowed to “never forgive terrorists” after the Islamic State (ISIS) released a video purportedly showing the beheading of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto.

    “I am extremely angry about these heinous and despicable terrorist acts. We will never forgive terrorists,” Abe told reporters in Tokyo on Sunday morning (local time), according to the AFP news agency.

    “We will cooperate with the international community to make them atone for their crimes,” he declared.

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2 thoughts on “International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue

  1. Pingback: Wrong choices made to get rid of Assad | Marcus Ampe's Space

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