To be fair and
objective I think that the activity of this committee should be placed
in the historical context of the dialogue between Muslims and Catholics.
This communication between both sides started in the early seventies of
the last century. When the two great leaders, King Faisal Bin Abd El-Aziz
Al Saud – King of Saudi Arabia, and Pope – Paulos VI – Pope of the
Vatican expressed, through their consultants, the importance of starting
a dialogue between the Muslims and the Catholics. On Wednesday 7 Safar,
1392 A.H. corresponding to 22 March, 1972 A.D. the Ministry of Justice
in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia organized three symposia for dialogues in
Riyadh, along with a delegation of the greatest Christian jurists and
thinkers in Europe, who came to the Kingdom according to arrangements
made by the Saudi Embassy in Paris. During two weeks, the two sides
discussed together many issues and questions that were raised by the
Christian delegation in a tactful and courageous manner.
The events of those valuable
symposia were registered in a documentary book entitled (Scientific
By the end of this visit, the Saudi
Minister of Justice received an invitation to visit Europe from the Head
of the Catholic delegation in order to enable the followers of Islam and
Christianity to be more acquainted with one another. The invitation was
welcomed; reflecting the desire to maintain dialogues that will lead to
more understanding and mutual acquaintance. This desire was fulfilled
when a delegation from the greatest scholars and thinkers in Saudi
Arabia returned the visit.
The first meeting between the
delegation and their Catholic peers in Vatican City was on 9 Shawal, 1394 A.H.
corresponding to 25 October 1974 A.D.
The Honorable Supreme Pontiff of the
Vatican, Paulos VI welcomed the delegation and encouraged them to continue the
dialogue as it is the right way to be acquainted with each other and to achieve
peace among people. The dialogue was held between the Muslims and Catholics. The
two sides continued their dialogues of issues that were not tackled in Riyadh
due to time constraints; they also discussed the recent developments that
the end, the two sides agreed on the following meanings:
(However, the aim of these Symposia is
to elevate the subject matter of these Symposia in the cultural rights, to lay
down all the instructions that we have and that will help in achieving this aim,
to tackle the issues of dialogues impartially, bearing in mind nothing except
our desired aim; that is human dignity and his pragmatic duties in respect of
the instructions of our divine religion.
This shall be fulfilled through the
cooperation among all the humans to protect human dignity, human rights to live
in peace, and their rights to be treated with justice and equity with no ethical
or religious discrimination).
The second meeting was held in Paris
on 7 Shawal, 1394 A.H. corresponding to 23 October 1974 A.D.
· The third meeting was in Geneva – the International Council for Churches on 13 Shawal, 1394 A.D. corresponding to 29 October 1974 A.D.
The fourth meeting was also held in
Paris on 17 Shawal, 1394 A.H. corresponding to 2 November 1974 A.D.
· The delegation ended their round in Strasbourg, the former capital of the European Council on 19 Shawal, 1394 A.H. corresponding to 4 November 1974 A.D.
As we have mentioned above,
the events of these Symposia have been registered in a documentary book titled
"Scientific Symposia" in (Vatican, Paris, Geneva and Strasbourg). A copy of this
book could be obtained from the Secretariat of the International Islamic Forum
for Dialogue in Jeddah.
In 1992, a delegation of Muslim World League headed by its former Secretary General, H.E Dr. Abdullah Bin Omar Nasif. The delegation included H.E Dr. Mohammed Ma'rouf El-Dawaliby (may Allah bless him) – President of the Muslim World Congress, His Eminence Sheikh Abduallah Bin Beh- Professor at King Abd El-Aziz University in Jeddah and His Excellency Dr. Hamid Bin Ahmad Al-Rifaie – Professor at King Abd El-Aziz University in Jeddah; assistant Secretary General of the Muslim World Congress. The delegation held the Symposia in Paris, Vatican and Madrid. A meeting was held with Honorable Supreme Pontiff Johanna Paulos II, during which formal speeches were exchanged. Symposia for dialogue were held in the presence of a delegation from Saint Agido Association – Rome. It consisted of (Professor Andréa Ricardo, Mons. Johanna Ibrahim, Mons. Vitgenzo Baglia, Father Vittorio Janary and Dr Klaudio Peity). The delegation signed an agreement of dialogue between the two parties. A common Secretariat was formed of:
Muslims The Christians
The events of these Symposia
are registered in a documentary report available in the International Islamic
Forum for Dialogue in Jeddah.
In 1993, The World Muslim League organized a Symposium for Muslims-Christians dialogue on the occasion of opening the Islamic Cultural Center in Madrid, the Muslims who participated in the symposium were:
The Christians participating
A common statement was
issued at the end of the dialogue. The two parties signed the dialogue
agreement; the events of the dialogue were recorded in a documentary report
available in the International Islamic Forum for Dialogue in Jeddah.
In 1995, an International Islamic delegation paid a visit to Vatican City. The delegation consisted of:
The delegation was met
with its peers in Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue -Vatican:
At the end, the
dialogue and counsels between the two delegations resulted in: the conclusion of
an agreement between them, the formation of a committee under the name (The
Islamic-Catholic Liaison Committee) and their approval upon the formation of a
Secretariat that will help the Liaison Committee.
This secretariat consists
The articles of the agreement were as follows:
The Muslim party of the committee consists of representatives of the
Muslim World League, Muslim World Congress, Organization of Islamic Conference
and the International Islamic Council for Daw’a and Relief as well as Al-Azhar.
While the Christian Party consists of representatives of the Pontifical Council
for Inter-religious Dialogue and other departments of the Vatican.
Committee membership will be at the level of employees (official level) taking
into consideration continuation of work. It goes without saying that if an
employee was unable to attend, another employee would be sent instead.
3. A mutual secretariat for the Committee will be formed from one member from the Christian party and another from the Muslim party, the latter decided to assign Dr.Hamid Bin Ahmad El Refaie for this purpose. Father Khalid Oksha from the Christian party was the Committee Secretariat to be assigned or to assign someone on his behalf in future.
4. The Committee meeting will be held once a year or more than once, the matter that will be decided. The Christian and Muslim parties shall hold the meetings successively.
Committee will discuss matters of great importance to both Christians and
Muslims and study how religious values contribute in solving problems. The
Committee may seek the assistance of experts to study such matters.
6. Those responsible for the Committee will convene from time to time -as they may find necessary- to discuss the real Islamic- Christian relations, evaluate the Committee work and ensure that the decisions made were fully applied.
7. Each party will bear the travel expenses while the hosting party will bear accommodation expenses.
|Dialogue Agreement Between IIFD & PCID|
|The First Session of Dialogue||The Second Session of Dialogue||The Third Session of Dialogue|
|The 7th Session of Dialogue||The 8th Session of Dialogue||The 9th Session of Dialogue|
|The 10th Session of Dialogue||The 11 Session of Dialogue||The 12 Session of Dialogue|
|The 13 Session of Dialogue||The 14th Session of Dialogue|