Afaq Center for Studies and Research, released recently the first book of (Dialogues Series) under the title Dialogues on Issues of Pluralism and Citizenship edited by Husain Zinaldine.
The book contains a collection of interviews, conducted by the editor with a group of writers and researchers from the Arab region about the initiative of Islamic dialogue. Zinaldine explained in the introduction, that the book represents the ideas of some thinkers to enhance Islamic dialogue initiative and convergence between sects.
The editor discussed ten subjects including dialogue and its implications, the problems which face dialogue and how to address them and the relation between dialogue and curriculum, the relationship between dialogue and the demand of Islamic unity, the obstacles which hinder Islamic unity, relationship between pluralism and citizenship, how to address sectarianism as a complicated problem in the Islamic communities and the relation between media and dialogue issue.
Zinedine considered the book as a motivation to activate Islamic- Islamic dialogue and addressing the problems which hinder it at the current stage. He explained that the book is an attempt which comes within the conurbations of the center to promote dialogue, coexistence, tolerance and reject extremism.
Sheikh Hasan al-Saffar said “intellectuals and scholars should face the challenges which face the nation and address the problems which hinder dialogue”. He added “most intellectuals are interested in addressing religious issues rather than current challenges such as sectarianism and coexistence”.
Mohamed Al-Mahfoud stressed on the importance of dialogue and understanding in facing challenges that hinder Islamic unity, explaining that turning dialogue to controversial debate exacerbate tension.
In the first subject, “Meaning of Islamic Dialogue” Sheikh Haidar Hob allah, a Lebanese scholars in Qum Religious school, said that “dialogue is a positive interactive relationship between components of the society, explaining the controversial nature of this relation, where each party effect and influence on each another. This relation of controversial nature gives them an equal position and determines the integrity of the relationship”.
Grippy Murad, a writer and a researcher in Islamic affairs from Algeria in answering the question of the second subject, "Where to Start Islamic Dialogue? Confirms that Islamic dialogue does not need a start, it needs criticizing emotional behaviors and said that “there is excessive narcissism in Islamic communities; dialogue is an objective intellectual communication process, which needs patience not emotions”.
In the third subject Misfer Al-Qahtani, a Saudi Islamic scholar and a chief of Islamic and Arabic Studies at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, said that “dialogue should address influential issues such as the existence of extremist who incite strife in communities.
About developing curriculum, sayed Hassan al-Nimr, a Saudi clergy man answered by saying “There is a dismally failure at this level, the existing curriculum does not recognizing pluralism. I think developing of curriculum requires a political decision”.
Dr. Zaid Al-Fadil, a writer and a researcher from Saudi Arabia said in promoting Islamic dialogue that “we should avoid raising sectarian strife; dialogue has the ability to enhance mutual understanding which can contribute in developing the society”.
Esam Ahmidan, a Moroccan researcher in legal and administrative sciences answered the question about dialogue and the demand for Islamic unity by saying that “it is important to identify our goals before starting in order to save time and effort in an initiative which may not be achieved”.
The seventh issue was about Islamic dialogue between challenges and elements of advancement where Sayed Jafar Fadlallah, who studied at the Islamic Sharia Institute in Beirut, said “we are still preoccupied with conflicts which took place in the past and adopt the subjective method rather than scientific objective ones”.
Dr. Sheikh Abdullah Al-Yousef, a researcher in contemporary intellectual and Islamic affairs from Saudi Arabia said in the subject of the relation between doctrinal and citizenship that “equal citizenship in rights and duties gives each person the right to practice religious freedom without fear, which strengthen national unity”.
Sheikh Mohammed Attia, specializes in Islamic sciences from Saudi Arabia said in the issue of sectarian and religious issues renaissance that “sectarianism is associated with discrimination and pluralism is the natural case in societies.
About media and issues of the nation, Dr. Sheikh Fahad Al-asari, a religious man from Medina said that “means of communications turned the planet into a small village, choosing the right subject and debaters can enhance Islamic- Islamic initiative”