Saturday, November 15, 2008

Interfaith Dialogue: Rhetoric or Practice?

Last week many global leaders joined an interfaith dialogue initiative led by King Abdullah the Saudi Monarch. The fact that leaders have acknowledged the imperative of dialogue as a remedy to current inflictions is in itself a positive development. The fact that erroneous Western policies towards the Muslim world have been criticized by Arab leaders who are renown for their Western alignment is also noteworthy. However the fact that such an initiative would be led by leaders who do not have a prominent role in the Islamic world and who have not followed such initiatives in their political careers is questionable. It takes the whole initiative to the level of empty rhetoric with no practical backing.
Today, in the absence of personalities such as President Khatami who put forward the policy of Dialogue Among Civilizations and led an initiative which was warmly welcomed by the global community and is still followed in academic and independent circles , it is natural that self proclaimed leaders would step forward and fill the gap. The outcome is however essentially different. Before being considered as a politician President Khatami is considered to be a thinker and scholar of political and religious science. He has enough theoretical backing for what he has proclaimed . He considers his progressive pro-democracy Islamic thought to be a natural outcome of the Islamic Revolution. For eight years, he displayed in practice, the example of a political leader with robust ethical principles who stands as a role model for Islamic leadership. President Khatami is still a popular figure, among young Iranians he is a beacon of hope for those who aspire to see the prosperity of Iran's Islamic Democracy.


Anna said...

YES!!!!!!! Indeed!!!!!! Long Live Islamic Democracy! Long live Islamic Feminism! Long Live Iran's Islamic Revolution! Long Live Rahbar Khatami! Long Live President Ebtekar (one day)!!!!

I don't know if I should say "Ebtekar All The Way" (my favorie woman president to be), or "Mousavi All The Way" (the Reformist potential presidential candidate that Mr. Khatami is endorsing for next year), or "Zarif All The Way" (my favorie Iranian Obama), so I'll just say:

Reformists All The Way!!!

p.s. this is a slogan that us fans of my favorite Hockey team "Montreal Canadians" use, it's "Habs All The Way", but I used it underneath ALL my blogs on over the past 21 months, and I intend to now lend it to my favorite Iranian "Savior"!!! (just like President Obama is the "Savior" or Messiah of many people in this ugly world)

Black Chador said...

I think having any member of Saudi Royal Dictatorship talking about religion tolerance is like Ahmadinejad becoming a lobbyist for Gay marriage. For King Abdullah to talk about any kind of freedom be it a religion or personal freedom is hilarious. In his own country Shia Muslim are not allowed to practice their faith. Only if you are a Wahhabi you are allowed to openly practice your faith. Remember 15 members of the 19 hijackers who murdered people at the Twin Towers on 9/11 where Saudis and Wahhabbis.
I keep hearing about Islamic Democracy, and I can’t comprehend how that would be possible without some changes to Quran’s laws and Sharia laws. No develop country can be run by old and ancient laws. Western countries realized that and that is why when you talking about Bible you hear the words “Old Book” or “New Book”. Basically New Book has taken all the harsh laws such as “Stoning” out and has been replaced by common sense. Even with those changes to Bible and knowing how religious America is compared to other Democracies in Europe, we cannot even imagine for a Priest to get elected as an American president. It is a common sense analogy that dictates the fact that “Separation of Church and State” is the best way to govern a society.
King Abdullah can sing about tolerances as loud as he wants but his Dictatorship palace is sitting on a Time Bomb, he might delay the blow up but he can’t stop it.