The Muslim World League (MWL) convened the first-ever “Forum on Common Values among Religious Followers” in Riyadh with support from the Vatican, evangelical church leaders, internationally recognized rabbis, and more. The forum, which featured panel discussions of international religious issues and offered opportunities to establish cross-cultural partnerships between faiths, produced an official communiqué outlining fundamental agreements endorsed by all faiths represented.
“The Forum’s collective objectives were to reach a universal consensus within the context of a common civilizational vision to enhance cooperation and trust between global spiritual leaders, leverage their commonalities by placing them at the forefront of common principles of human values, promote the values of moderation and harmony, effectively support efforts to advance tolerance and peace, and set rational intellectual-frameworks to immunize against the dangers of extremist ideology and behavior regardless of its source,” the communiqué reads.
The communiqué went on to list areas of agreement for religious policy reached at the summit, including the fundamental role of religion to society, the spiritual basis for basic human rights, and a rejection of an “inevitable civilizational clash” view of future religious affairs.
“The thesis of an inevitable civilizational clash, and attempts to achieve religious, cultural, political and economic advantage without respecting rights or ethics, are forms of extremism and arrogance, and an embodiment of racism driven by a superiority complex,” the faith leaders wrote. “It demonstrates an ignorance about the power that the Creator possesses over us – which is evident from human history. The true advantage (irrespective of which discipline it is achieved in) comes ‘organically’ through ‘ethical’ power that is made possible through tangible, sincere and noble intentions.”
A central agreement of the forum was the necessity to protect family unity. The leaders referred to the family unit as the “nucleus of society” and demanded international institutions – including the United Nations – protect the integrity of both the family and children’s education.