The much-touted International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue is about to open in Vienna, Austria, on Nov. 27, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV reports. The center is the culmination of an effort by Saudi King Abdullah, launched several years ago. According to the report, the Vatican is on board, along with members from Spain and Austria.

Vatican joins King Abdullah intl center
for cultural, religious dialogue
Al Arabiya

The Vatican joined an international organization for cultural dialogue, founded by Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, as a founding observer on Thursday.

The King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), founded in 2011 and headquartered in Vienna, moves to promote mutual understanding among followers of different religions and cultures.

An official from the Vatican, representing the Holy See and the Catholic Church, joined the group as they convened on Thursday. The forum was attended by Saudi vice minister of foreign affairs, Prince Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, as well as delegates from Spain and Austria, also founding members of the group.

The U.N.-recognized non-government organization focuses on interreligious and intercultural dialogue. Its goals include promoting human rights, justice, peace and reconciliation plus acting against the abuse of religion as a means to justify oppression, violence and conflict.


November:03:2012 - 08:39 | Comments & Trackbacks (12) | Permalink
12 Responses to “Religious Dialogue Center Due to Open”
  1. 1
    Jerry M Said:
    November:03:2012 - 11:08 

    I don’t see this as a good thing. I see this as an attempt by Saudi Arabia to get support for censorship of anti-Islamic speech by soliciting the support of official Christianity. We all remember how Christian clerics refused to openly condemn the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, even though was was being proposed by Khomeini was a murder pure and simple. (http://www.openculture.com/2012/09/christopher_hitchens_remembers_ayatollah_khomeinis_ifatwai_against_his_friend_salman_rushdie_2010.html)

  2. 2
    John Burgess Said:
    November:03:2012 - 16:06 

    @Jerry M: There are many branches of Christianity that would like to see blasphemy laws reinstated, particularly if it applies to critics of their religions, but not so much when it comes to criticizing other religions — though honestly, that’s fewer than the number that support blasphemy laws in general. Unfortunately, the Vatican has already come out in support of laws prohibiting mockery of religion:

    “Profound respect for the beliefs, texts, outstanding figures and symbols of the various religions is an essential precondition for the peaceful coexistence of peoples,” Lombardi’s statement said. “The serious consequences of unjustified offense and provocations against the sensibilities of Muslim believers are once again evident in these days, as we see the reactions they arouse, sometimes with tragic results, which in their turn nourish tension and hatred, unleashing unacceptable violence.”

    http://www.jta.org/news/article/2012/09/13/3106841/vatican-condemns-violence-in-name-of-religion-and-anti-muslim-film

  3. 3
    Lola Said:
    November:03:2012 - 18:23 

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-140807-UK-government-told-anti-Islam-film-incites-terrorism

    UK government told anti-Islam film incites terrorism
    Murtaza Ali Shah
    Saturday, November 03, 2012

    LONDON: Britain’s Counter-terrorism Command Unit and Specialist Internet Bureau have taken notice of a representation made by an influential Muslim organisation which is asking the government to ban the blasphemous film “Innocence of Muslims” for posing danger to UK’s national security.

    The Jamaat-e-Ahle Sunnat UK, which claims to represent the majority of Muslims in Britain, has approached the home secretary and police forces around the country requesting that the movie be removed from YouTube on the grounds that it incites racial and religious hate crimes and openly encourages violence in the name of faith. The group didn’t request that the film, which caused outrage among Muslims across the world, be banned for being offensive, nor that it will incite hatred against the Muslims but rather that it would encourage violence by Muslims to non-believers. Raja Zahid Nawaz confirmed to The News that his organisation had been contacted by the security officials with assurance that the contents of the letter were being studied and all the activity around the film online and otherwise was being monitored.

    Ghulam Rabanni, Secretary General of the organisation, told The News that the blasphemous film is not about the “freedom of speech”. “This film is aimed at inciting religious and racial hatred. It incites extremism and terrorism and will lead to the radicalisation of young Muslims in the UK. It encourages physical and violent attacks on non-Muslim communities around the world. It encourages child abuse. It will damage the fabric of a multi racial and multi faith society and it will lead to tensions and disturbances within the UK and in particular in inner city areas. We have asked the government to ban the film on YouTube.”

  4. 4
    Jerry M Said:
    November:04:2012 - 11:47 

    I am not religious but I was raised Catholic so I have more understanding of what the Catholic church is saying than what other Christian organizations say. It annoys me how short sighted they are on this. There is no evidence that Christian relgious symbols are under attack in the West. There are things that might be considered blasphemous in the media but there one does not see grafiti on religious statues, churches, attacks on clergy etc. Given the great variety of belief in the West the lack on blasphemy laws seems to work very well.

    In Muslim countries it can be very different. One sees stories of Christians prosecuted for Blasphemy. One also see continual attacks on Christian churches and on the right of Christians to have their own churches. It is crazy for a Christian organization to align itself with organizations for a country that doesn’t even allow churches on its own soil.

  5. 5
    Aunty May Said:
    November:04:2012 - 15:26 

    Founded in 2011 a headquarters in Vienna, that moves to promote mutual understanding among followers of different religions and cultures? Considering that Saudi school children are certainly not taught mutual understanding of Christians and Jews, whom amongst some bad apples, flourish many wonderful citizens. I am truly puzzled as why the headquarters in beautiful Vienna was then founded.

    @JerryM,

    Are you aware of the Council of Nicaea (345 A.D)?
    Are you aware of what the Trinitarians lobbied Emperor Constantine for?

    It is my wish that ALL PEOPLE KNOW of this history of how Christianity came about. Yeshua/Isa/Jesus certainly did not invent Christianity! How misrepresented he is. His tears are in the storm as is “his hope” for mankind’s understanding of spiritual truths, are in the light of the sun. The only religion he knew was not Christianity, but service to mankind.

    Two days ago on T.V, I watched how one woman was angry that the New York Marathon was cancelled. She came a long way to see it and was consumed with selfishness that this event had been called off. Is it right to say she is justified, when only a few miles away thousands were hungry, cold and broken? Like those who are displaced in war such as in Iraq, Syria, the Palestinians on-going misery, or the broken hearts of families and loved ones who endure drones attacks in Somalia, North Pakistan and Afghanistan. Or maybe it was an opportunity for this woman who was actually “in the right place at the right time” to be in-service to humanity.

    “The test is not what one believes in, but what each citizen has done; otherwise there would be a complete mockery of divine justice”

  6. 6
    Lola Said:
    November:04:2012 - 15:39 

    http://www.memri.org/clip/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/3631.htm

    Saudi Cleric Muhammad Al-Munajid: Hurricane Sandy Is Allah’s Punishment for Afghanistan and Iraq

  7. 7
    Jerry M Said:
    November:04:2012 - 15:59 

    @aunty may

    “Are you aware of the Council of Nicaea (345 A.D)?
    Are you aware of what the Trinitarians lobbied Emperor Constantine for?”

    Not relevant to the discussion of a religious dialogue center.

  8. 8
    Jerry M Said:
    November:04:2012 - 17:18 

    If Sandy is the result of God’s punishment what was the cause of the deaths from the Jeddah flood in 2009?

  9. 9
    Solomon2 Said:
    November:04:2012 - 18:40 

    It will be interesting to see if KAICIID functions as outlined in 2008 and very disappointing to me if it does, as that means its main function will be to further Orwellian totalitarianism rather than healing between nations.

  10. 10
    Sparky Said:
    November:05:2012 - 17:59 

    Lola: That speech by Sheik Muhammad Munajid is quite representative I could fairly say of the Saudi populace. What cowards?

    Only cowards can speak like this of devastation to their fellow humankind but it seems some fanatics find a way of dehumanizing those who do not subscribe to their branch of RAGE. However, I do understand when emotions are highly charged these types of beliefs will prevail.

    I suppose he thinks Allah is happy he is being such a great spokesman for him on Earth. I think he is the spokesman of Zeus or Neptune with all his talk of fire and destruction.

    Is a religious dialogue center just a waste of time? I think a common sense dialogue center would serve ALL better.

  11. 11
    Lola Said:
    November:05:2012 - 19:29 

    Sparky: I wonder if Al-Munajid has forgotten the tsunami in 2004 that killed close to 300,000 people the majority of them Muslims. Who did he blame for that?

  12. 12
    John Burgess Said:
    November:05:2012 - 21:44 

    @Lola: He blamed them for not being pious enough.

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