The Ninth General Conference:Islam And The West Past - Present - Future
The world is living today a crucial juncture in its history that will determine its future for several generations to come, in the wake of the massive scientific achievements, the revolutions of information and Communications; interests where intricated and interwoven, distances vanished, geographical and even cultural, barriers were removed. This urges for a serious and constructive dialogue among the various cultures in order that some peoples do not take dogmatic sights with their cultures taking them - the only criteria of judging civilization in general in a way that marginalize the role of some civilizations and highlight others, foster the claims of conflict among civilizations instead of co-existence among them.
This tendency was reflected in the emergence of economic and political blocs among neighbouring peoples who live under a civilization of common roots, as well as in the revival of racial and ethnic fanaticism.
Instead of the dominance of the values of right, justice and equality within a framework governed by fair international legitimacy, the standards of justice multiplied and varied according to interests. Islam and Muslims suffered- as a result of ignorance or indifference to the right Islamic values lot of force accusations and insults at the hands of certain political and intellectual leaderships, and most of western mass media.
Against this backdrop The Ninth General Conference of The Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs was held under the heading, "ISLAM AND THE WEST: PAST -PRESENT AND FUTURE", transcending in its concept the geographical span, and hoping, through joint dialogue, to clarify the true concepts of Islamic values and the positive values in the western civilizations, building bridges of getting together with the purpose of realizing the happiness and progress of mankind. These concepts rest on solid and firm basics in the Islamic civilization- basics defined by The Holy Qur'an and The Sunna of The Prophet (Prophet Muhammad Traditions) and which are incarnated in human fraternity, submission to Allah alone and the communication among civilizations for man's good.
God created the peoples in different places and colours. They speak different languages, though they are the descendants of one father for a very significant reason. He charted out a unique and special course for every Umma, despite the fact that all heavenly missions have one source. They integrate together and were crowned by Islam.
Islamic civilization derived from the previous civilizations, and after assimilation it created a genuine civilization which Islam injected by a moral and spiritual power. Islam provided this civilization with an unprecedented intellectual methodology; it combined both science and faith, reason and religion. It was this civilization that fed Europe in the age of renaissance when the foundation of contemporary western civilization was laid down.
Unfortunately, the contribution of Muslims to the materialistic achievements of western civilization has retreated since that time and up till the recent Islamic awakening which has not yet paid off. The Islamic World was plagued by backwardness and stagnation. It began to copy the west instead of developing and updating its civilization. A group of intellectuals in the west capitalized on this backwardness to mar the image of Muslims and to distort the value of Islamic civilization, raising the banner of superiority of the western civilization, disdaining and underestimating Muslims, spreading ethnic and religious fanaticism. In doing so, they depended on a minister-predation of their cultural heritage, and misapplication of the true Islamic concepts by some Islamic communities- a situation that narrowed the scope of cooperation between the two civilization which was wider and broader before.
Though the Islamic civilization suffered a setback in some of its aspects, the greater part of it is still vivid and capable of growth and contribution positively to the contemporary civilization especially as regards its spiritual aspect.
For this reason the Egyptian Ministry of Waqfs called for holding The Ninth General Conference of The Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs on.