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   Conferences / The Eight General Conference:Islam And The Future Dialogue Between
Introduction:Minister of Al Awqaf and President of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs

In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Minister of Al Awqaf and President of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs.
It is no longer possible for any nation in the world today to isolate itself from the events and the rapid development that encompasses it in all walks of life. It is also a recognized and undeniable fact that the whole world has become - as it were - one great universal village in which all depend upon others in one way or another. Accordingly peaceful coexistence and cooperation between nations is imperative and inevitable if this world is to survive total destruction and annihilation.
The world is consequently in dire need of adopting a new attitude in dealing with people of different races and civilizations. Throughout the history of mankind powerful nations have employed all possible means to control, enslave and exploit weaker nations for their benefit and profit. In spite of the fact that some of the great powers still pursue this inhumane policy to a certain extent, the conscience of the world has begun to declare its aversion to such a policy, although in many cases this aversion is only expressed by voicing their disapproval without enforcing their beliefs.
The world which is on the threshold of the twenty first century and is on the brink of a new era in the history of mankind is required to renounce the previous unjust inhumane oppression to which weak and poor nations were subjected and to adopt another policy consistent with the new era, namely that of a Civilized Dialogue, with all the significance that it conveys. The aim of such a dialogue is to effect a true and comprehensive peace, a positive coexistence and constructive cooperation between the nations of the world for the lasting benefit of mankind.
It is a well known fact to every scholar who has studied the Faith of Islam that ever since its advent, Islam has summoned people to enter into a dialogue for the benefit and happiness of mankind. All people are descendants of one parentage and God Almighty created them and made them into nations and tribes so that they may know and befriend each other and not hate and fight each other: `O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that you may know each other." (1).
It was thus decided that these concepts should be the basis of the Eighth General Conference held by the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs under the title of: Islam and the Future of Civilized Dialogue.
The conference discussed this important subject emphasizing four main issues:
(1) Dialogue or Conflict?
(2) Dialogue between Religions.
(3) Dialogue and Radicalism.
(4) Islam and Coexistence between Mankind.
The sessions of the Conference witnessed constructive debates and objective discussions that reflected the world's aspirations for peace, security, stability, a peaceful coexistence and fruitful cooperation between nations. There was also a unanimous and conclusive condemnation of all forms of radicalism, fanaticism, violence, terrorism, intimidation and assassination of the innocent. In view of the importance of this conference, it was the scene of the positive and effective participation of more than seventy countries in addition to a number of international organizations. Moreover, several distinguished personalities, among whom was Mr. Helmut Schmidt, former Chancellor of Germany, for the first time attended and took part in one of the conferences of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs. In order to widen the circle of people who can benefit from the sessions of this Conference, the research papers, speeches, discussions and debates of the Conference were published for the large sector of readers who did not have the opportunity of attending the Conference.
This publication includes the speeches delivered during the opening session of the conference in addition to the lectures and research papers which were delivered and discussed in the sessions of the Conference. The discussions conducted in the sessions of the four work groups, the Cairo Proclamation and the recommendations issued by the conference are also included, all of which have been translated into English and French.
We invoke God Almighty to accept this sincere work of devotion and to bless its aim in urging individuals and communities everywhere to unite in promoting peace in this world for the benefit of all mankind.
Dr. Mahmoud Hamdi Zaqzouq.
Minister of Al Awqaf and President of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs.

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