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ATF reviews Jordan’s efforts towards instilling interfaith dialogue, co-existence

Forum hosts JT journalist Samain over her book on interfaith dialogue

By JT - Nov 21,2018 - Last updated at Nov 21,2018

Rula Sameen

AMMAN — Jordan’s achievements in instilling interfaith dialogue, co-existence and tolerance among followers of Abrahamic faiths were at the highlight of a seminar recently organised at the Arab Thought Forum (ATF) 

The seminar, co-organised with the Royal Institute of Religious Studies, hosted The Jordan Times’ reporter Rula Samain to talk about her experience in documenting the Kingdom’s achievements in interfaith dialogue and co-existence, which culminated in her recently published book “Fortress of Peace: Jordan Interfaith Drive and Model of coexistence”.

During the seminar, Samain said that Jordan has sought through the Amman Message to promote the true essence of Islam which relies on tolerance, co-existence and dialogue, adding that embracing a different version of Islam would lead to dividing people according to their religions and sects “as is the case in some regional countries”, an ATF statement to The Jordan Times said. 

She also said that journalists have an important role to play when it comes to promoting peace, tolerance and dialogue among followers of faiths, adding that the press should contribute to all enlightenment efforts seeing to achieve positive change and spread hope, the statement said. 

In addition to defending and promoting the true essence of Islam, Samain explained that the Kingdom has also played a leading role in protecting Christianity as an integral component of the region, citing His Majesty King Abdullah when he said: “The Jordanian Christians have deep roots in the region and their protection is a religious duty. Arab Christians are the closest in understanding Islam”   

Samain added that her book aimed at highlighting the diverse and distinctive features of Jordan and its role in strengthening co-existence between Muslims and Christians, the statement said. 

She also said that awarding the prestigious Templeton Prize to the King was an international testimony of Jordan’s leading efforts towards instilling interfaith dialogue and promoting the true essence of Islam. 

ATF  Secretary General Mohammad Abu Hammour said that the Templeton Prize was granted to His Majesty in appreciation of efforts in spreading interfaith, pluralism and coexistence values, adding that the award affirmed that Jordan has presented a civilised model of virtue and peace, the statement said. 

He also highlighted the King’s role in institutionalising religions’ dialogue, referring to his Majesty the late King Hussein’s efforts and HRH Prince Hassan’s role in launching the Islamic-Christian dialogue. Abu Hammour added that these initiatives contributed to enhancing citizenship, pluralism and the acceptance of the other, which is a crucial condition for development at all standards.

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