A member of Mazandaran University scientific board, Ali Akbar
Izadi-Fard, said that the diversity of cultures, which is the basis for
dialogue, is accepted by Islam.
A professor of Islamic jurisprudence, Izadi-Fard told IRNA: "Dialogue among cultures is based on cultural diversity in
today's world, and once such cultural variety is accepted dialogue might be
He added that the world cultural diversity is readily
accepted by Islam owing to the reference made by the God Almighty to the
need for establishment of understanding among various nations and tribes as
the main purpose of creation, which is evident in the verses and narrations
of the holy book of Quran about the infallible household of the prophet
(Peace Be Upon Him).
He noted that the diversity of culture naturally calls for
He underlined that the absence of justice in cultural diversity will
lead to cultural monopoly, which will eventually end up in denying other
cultures. "Therefore, justice and justified communication is
indispensable with respect to contact with other cultures," he added.
Izadi-Fard said that according to verse 13 from Quran, mutual
acquaintance, which results from dialogue among cultures, is an effective
factor in creating balance between cultural differences.
He added, "Virtues such as justice, brotherhood, etc
play a decisive role in the realization of social and cultural justice.”
He underlined that this should be taken into consideration
and that otherwise mutual understanding in the light of dialogue among
civilizations will create the tendency towards superiority among human
beings with respect to wealth, power and denial of alien cultures.
A delegation of Germany’s religious figures met and
conferred with President of the International Centre for Dialogue Among
Civilizations (ICDAC) Dr. Ataollah Mohajerani at the ICDAC headquarters in
Tehran on June 19th.
The delegation consisted of head of the
Protestant Church of Germany, a.k.a. EKD's Ecumenical and Foreign Relations
Section Bishop Dr. h.c. Rolf Koppe, EKD's Secretary for Ethnic Minorities
Director of Inter-religious Dialogue and Foreign Churches Section
Dr. Martin Affolderbach, Head of the Evangelist Academy in Loccum Dr. Hans
Peter Burmeister, EKD Cleric in Iran Mr. Michael Ventsel, and Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of Germany in Tehran.
Describing the Iranian clerics as highly educated and
knowledgeable in theology and with a strong sense of value for debates,
Bishop Koppe said: “We would like to contribute to the peaceful
coexistence of nations, and collaborate with the clerics of Muslim
He further announced the holding of a seminar titled “Iran,
a prospering country” in Germany this year, inviting Dr. Mohajerani to
attend the seminar along with a delegation of Iranian clerics and prominent
scholars of theology.
Welcoming the idea of such a gathering, Dr. Mohajerani stated
that this would be a good opportunity for the German people to get more
acquainted with the Iranian people, culture and civilization.
Maintaining that culture is the spirit of civilization and
religion the spirit of culture, he introduced the main direction of ICDAC
activities as inter-religious dialogue, adding: “We welcome all
delegations who aim to exchange ideas on religions and their features, and
strive for the promotion of inter-religious dialogue.”
Referring to the issue of fingerprinting Iranians at the
German borders, ICDAC president also pointed: “The cultural image of
Germany in Iranian minds is a very positive one, but some political
decisions may destroy such image completely.” He further said that the
German authorities’ recent decision regarding fingerprinting Iranian
passengers is a result of their lack of knowledge about Iran’s ambiance,
emphasizing the necessity of correcting the situation as soon as possible.
The German Chargé d'Affaires in turn referred to his being
officially summoned to the Iranian Foreign Ministry, saying: “So far 4000
Iranians have been denied asylum by our country’s authorities, and the
Iranian government does not accept any responsibility in returning these
Iranians. Due to this conflict of opinions and to resolve the issue, the
fingerprinting will continue, for a limited number of Iranian passengers and
to a minimal extent.”
Other member of the delegation Dr.
Affolderbach expressed hope that the EKD could play an effective role in
bringing three elements of religion, culture and civilization together.
Also in this meeting EKD Cleric in Iran Mr. Michael Ventsel
appreciated Iranian nation’s hospitality, describing the presence of the
Protestant Church of Germany in Tehran as an incentive for friendship and
understanding between the Iranian people and German minority.
Head of the Tehran-based International Centre for Dialogue
Among Civilizations Dr. Ataollah Mohajerani called for understanding between
Tehran and Baghdad.
During a meeting with Iraqi Minister of Culture Hamad Yussef
Hammadi at the ICDAC headquarters, Mohajerani said that had Iran and Iraq
been closely acquainted with each other, the eight-year war between them
would have never been happened.
Mohajerani described Iran and Iraq as the two major countries
suffering from lack of mutual understanding and stressed the need for
utilization of the existing opportunities to solve their differences.
"Iran's International Centre for Dialogue Among
Civilizations and Iraq's Beit Al-Hekma should closely cooperate with each
other to improve and positively affect mutual cultural ties," he
Alluding to the policies adopted by US President George W.
Bush towards the world, he said that Washington would pressure any
government that stands up to the US dictates.
The official further said that the September 11 attacks in
the United States resulted in further pressures on Palestine, Afghanistan
and Pakistan by the United States.
Hamad Yussef Hammadi, in response, underlined the need for
paying more attention to the present commonalities and dialogue among
civilizations between the two countries.
President Bharrat Jagdeo here on June 29 pointed to the idea of Dialogue
Among Civilizations, proposed by President Mohammad Khatami, as the sole solution
to the current disputes among nations.
In a meeting with Iran's non-resident Ambassador to
Georgetown Ahmad Sobhani, the president expressed hope for promotion of the
idea throughout the world.
Jagdeo also announced his country's readiness for expansion
of cooperation with Tehran. Referring to the enhanced bilateral political
ties, he called for broadening of economic and cultural relations between
the two countries.
He also termed Iran's commercial exhibitions held in the
country as positive and called for more active presence of Iran in an
upcoming international exhibition, which is to be held in Guyana.
Sobhani, for his part, said that the idea of Dialogue Among
Civilizations aims at establishing peace and tranquility across the world.
added that all nations should pursue the idea in order to get acquainted
with one another and find a solution to their discrepancies.
The envoy said that Tehran attaches great importance to bolstering relations with Georgetown as a sole regional member of Organization of Islamic Conferences (OIC).
producers and traders are eager to get a foothold in markets in Guyana and
take part in the forthcoming fair," he noted.
has previously held two commerce fairs in that country, which were warmly
welcomed by the nation.
Pope John Paul II on Friday hailed Iran's efforts to promote
dialogue among civilizations and religions, the idea for such a dialogue
having been first proposed by Iranian President Seyed Mohammad Khatami.
a meeting with the head of the Molla Sadra Islamic Theology Foundation,
Ayatollah Mohammad Khamenei, the Pope stressed the need for Islam and
Christianity to cooperate on achieving religious harmony through dialogue.
He also praised the suggestions put forward by the Islamic Republic toward resolving problems currently facing religious minorities.
his part, Khamenei described the understanding and resolve of Islam and
Christianity to fight the evils and corruption that plague society as
He also stressed dialogue among religions as the ideal means
for establishing global peace and justice.
Head of Tunisia’s International Studies Association Prof.
Rashid Edris met and conferred with the ICDAC president Dr. Ataollah
Mohajerani at the ICDAC headquarters on June 23rd.
The talks mainly revolved around Tunisia’s proposal of
cooperation between ICDAC and Tunisia’s International Studies Association,
which was welcomed by Dr. Mohajerani.
ICDAC president also introduced different departments,
publications and nine scientific groups of the Centre, specifying that the
Centre’s focal point of interest is Dialogue among cultures, civilizations
Appreciating the Centre’s efforts, Prof. Edris in turn
expressed hope that the two organizations can work together to promote
President Khatami’s idea of Dialogue among Civilizations, cultures and
He also appreciated the visits of Messrs. Kamal Kharazi and
Sadegh Kharazi, Foreign Minister and his Deputy in Education and Research
respectively, to Tunisia and their speeches at Tunisia’s Beit-al-Hekmah,
and invited Dr. Mohajerani for a second visit to Tunisia and the
International Studies Association and other such institutes.
a meeting with ICDAC president Dr. Ataollah Mohajerani on June 18th,
the Ukrainian ambassador to Tehran Mr. Vadim Primachenko called for the
cooperation of this Centre to hold seminars on Dialogue among Civilizations
advisor Dr. Mohajerani introduced the departments and activities of the
Centre to the Ukrainian official, pointing: “Nine scientific groups are
active in this Centre, namely Political Science, Social Science, Theology
and Religions, Philosophy, Art, Literature, Architecture & Urban
Development, Geography and the History of Civilizations. The Centre’s
activities are mainly focused on scientific and research projects.”
the Centre’s activities are holding national and international seminars on
dialogue among civilizations, cultures, cooperation with academic and
research centres, and inviting thinkers and intellectuals of other
countries, publication of books, providing information through the Internet
website, and publishing a monthly and a quarterly on the activities of the
International Centre for Dialogue Among Civilizations,” he further said.
In a meeting with ICDAC president Dr. Ataollah Mohajerani,
Pakistan’s ambassador to Iran Mr. Javid Husain called for holding a
seminar on Dialogue among Civilizations in Pakistan some time this year.
Welcoming this proposal, Dr. Mohajerani said that Iran and
Pakistan, being neighbors and having historical and cultural commonalities,
have an additional opportunity to further their cooperation.
“We share different cultural and social aspects with
Pakistan. As for politics, it is a different story and is influenced by the
time. At some time we had our differences over Taliban, and now we may not
be in agreement with you over the governance of Afghanistan and the US
imposed regional situation,” he added.
Presidential advisor then emphasized: “Whenever an external
force is imposed upon a nation, aiming to take advantage
of the potentials of that nation to its own benefit, inevitably there would
He added: “I believe that your proposal for a seminar on Dialogue will help even politicians to have a clearer understanding of the real issues at hand.”
ICDAC president then held that the Centre is ready to
cooperate in any way to hold this seminar, naming Strategic Research Centre,
Lahore University’s Institute of Orientology, and Iqbal Academy Pakistan
as proper choices to cooperate in such a venture.
He also said that ICDAC would support the translation of
Nuskha-Hai-Wafa, by the great Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz from Urdu to
Farsi, proposing Dr. Akbar Shah, linguist and head of the Farsi Language
Dept. of Punjab University in Lahore, as the best choice for undertaking
The Pakistani ambassador in turn expressed his appreciation
of Dr. Mohajerani’s positive response to the proposal, and reassured him
that the Pakistani government and people would never allow foreign forces to
direct any attempt against Iranian territories and interests from within the
Moroccan ambassador to Tehran Ghazi Jamal-al-Din extended an
invitation to ICDAC president Dr. Ataollah Mohajerani to attend in
Asilah’s international seminar “America and the World”.
In a meeting with Dr. Mohajerani at the ICDAC headquarters,
Mr. Jamal-el-Din submitted the official invitation of Moroccan Foreign
Minister Mohammad Benaissa, who is also the president of the Cultural
institute of Asilah,
and heads Asilah’s city council.
The seminar is to be held August 3-5, 2002, attending thinkers, intellectuals and politicians from the West and the Third World, who will exchange views on issues under the topics of “America-America”, “America-West” and “America-Third World”.
“Without Dialogue and specifically dialogue among
civilizations, promotion of international relations would be impossible,”
stressed the Moroccan ambassador.
Accepting the invitation, Dr. Mohajerani held: “Our culture
and civilization is built upon dialogue, and we believe we could move
towards perfection through dialogue.”
“What we at the ICDAC strive for is to get a clearer
picture of the domain of Islamic Countries as a civilization, and find a
ground for introducing our own civilization to others,” stated
Presidential Advisor and Head of ICDAC Dr. Ataollah Mohajerani in a meeting
with the Algerian Presidential Advisor and Chairman of the Islamic High
Council of Algiers Dr. Abu Omran Al-Sheikh, and a member of the said Council
Dr. Mohammad Farah on May 29th, 2002.
Expressing his interest in building the ground for
cooperative relations among Algiers’ scientific and research centers with
ICDAC and other such Iranian centres, Dr. Mohajerani said: “In the golden
age of Islamic civilizations, intellectuals and thinkers faced no obstacle
in the Islamic countries’ domain. No door would ever close on them, and so
the world of Islam had become the world’s scientific hub.”
Dr. Abu Omran Al-Sheikh in turn praised the influential role
of Iranians in the rise of the Islamic civilization, and said that the world
should be proud of the famous poets and writers such as Ferdowsi, Hafez,
Saadi, Fakhr Razi and others.
Honoring the noble and unique personality of Imam Khomeini
(SA) and comparing it with that of Mahatma Gandhi, The Algerian official
called these two leaders the two prodigies of the 20th century,
adding: “Mahatma Gandhi defeated the Great Britain out of the peninsula
with his passive resistance and nonviolence movement, and Imam Khomeini (SA)
organized the Muslim people as a powerful force to defeat tyranny and
He further described Islam as the faith of compassion,
brotherhood and tolerance, and the Islamic Civilization as the Civilization
At the end of the meeting, the ex-minister of Algiers
extended an official invitation to Dr. Mohajerani to attend the
international seminar on Dialogue among Civilizations, which is to be held
next year in Algiers.
Khatami has condemned the 'defiled seed of terror which grew to show its
ugly face' in the September 11 attack on the US landmarks, but added that
the incident had provided the 'intimidators with an excuse to change the
world into a sphere of conflict, threat and abhorrence'.
In response to a letter by William F. Vendley, the secretary general of the World Conference on Religion and Peace, which was held in November in New York, Khatami has paid tribute to American society for their 'great achievements', but has flayed US rulers' aggressive overtures against Iran and several other countries.
"Today, the United States is a great hub for knowledge, technology, research and wealth... It is appropriate that these great achievements, for which the American people are rightly credited, be put at the service of peace and prosperity for the entire world," he has said in part of the letter.
US President George W. Bush has accused Iran as part of an 'axis of evil' along with Iraq and North Korea. Tehran was swift to condemn the terrorist attacks on American trade and defense centers on September 11.
Khatami has questioned the approach of the "American politicians who, in the name of the American people and fight against terrorism, address other governments with a language full of threat and humiliation."
"I believe that the responsibility befalls the benevolent leaders of the US civil society, including clerics and thinkers, to confer with their politicians and induce them to desist from unjust and inappropriate behaviors," the Iranian president says.
"I trust that sooner or later the US public opinion will mobilize against warmongers," Khatami has added.
He has also condemned US support for the racist Israeli regime which has launched an aggressive incursion into the Palestinian lands.
"Today, the scale of transgression, bestiality and trespass is soaring to the heights of fury in Palestine... Isn't intimidation, terrorism and conflict the illegitimate offshoot of hatred," Khatami asked.
The Iranian president has reiterated his new brainchild of 'coalition for peace', which he mooted first during a speech at the UN General Assembly in November.
"Peace is a heavenly blessing but it is not showered on man suddenly and without his willing. Truly, peace ... may rain upon us only when hands of earthlings are fully stretched to warmly embrace it," Khatami has said.
Vendley, in his letter to Khatami, had lauded the Iranian president's speech in the assembly, saying: "You outlined with clarity an integral notion of human relations based on a dialogue among civilizations.
The United Nations designated 2001 as the year of 'dialogue among civilizations' on President Khatami's initiative.
"You also spoke in many forums about the need to reject terrorism and to build a world order based on justice and the rule of law, "Vendley had added in the letter.
"We appeal to you to continue to articulate these principles so important to the world community, and to all within your power to help ensure that these principles are acknowledged and heeded by all states," he had added.
Click here to read the full text of President Khatami’s letter.
Harmony and understanding is the basic message of Islam and
Imam Ayatollah Khomeini (RA) by propounding it gave a new spirit to it, says
an Indian Islamic professor.
Prof. Aktharul Wasey, Hon. Director of Dr. Zakir Hussain
Institute of Islamic Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi,
referring to the proposal of President Mohammad Khatami on idea of Dialogue
Among Civilizations, said it is based on peaceful coexistence and should be
taken seriously by world leaders. United Nations as the World body should
act as a coordinator in this respect, he added.
On the importance of the forthcoming international conference
of news agencies titled 'Coalition for Peace', he said: “Media is very
strong and the happenings in the globe reach the viewers within minutes. In
this scenario, news agencies have a great role, which is more important than
the politicians and bureaucrats.”
Lauding the news agencies dissemination of information, he
stressed that they should bring forward those stories, which can create
healthy atmosphere for coexistence.
”It is heartening to note that IRNA has taken an initiative
in creating the Coalition of News Agencies for Peace conference, which will
provide an opportunity for these agencies to discuss the ways of
strengthening peace in the volatile world,” he further said.
Wasey claimed that such conferences disturb and disappoint
the forces interested in destruction and devastation. He expressed his hopes
that this conference should be seen in a correct perspective. “When the
world community sees the genuine objectives of the conference, then the
tension-creating news will be reduced,” he added.
He emphasized that the countries in the region including
India and Iran should come forward with another initiative for the formation
of Coalition of World Peace, in which all the members of world community
take part unitedly, not only to prevent war but also to eliminate the fear
of war from the minds of people to lead them towards a future peace.
On the principles of peace, he said: “Peace is basically
different from what we call the 'silence of a graveyard'. Peace in society
is full of vibration, activities wherein people live together without much
fear, feud conflict and confrontation.”
Referring to the political needs for regional and global
Coalition for Peace, he said: “In the 21st century, when many
world powers have acquired nuclear capability or moving towards this
direction, first thing to ensure peace is for the world community to come
forward and disband all nuclear weapons, and work towards cultural and
social regeneration. To this goal, media and especially news agencies should
be particularly active, striving to promote this around the world.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin in a meeting with
Azerbaijan’s President Heidar Aliyev thanked him for attending the
unveiling ceremony of a monument built in St Petersburg in memory of the
great poet Nizami.
Putin stated that it was a welcome opportunity to meet Aliyev
“to exchange ideas on the two countries’ bilateral relations, as well as
coordination of their international organizations”.
Referring to a conference which was held in the besieged
Leningrad of 1941 to commemorate the 800th anniversary of
Nizami’s birth -despite all the difficulties facing such an attempt at the
time- Putin emphasized that the building of this monument demonstrates the
proximity of the cultures of the two peoples of Russia and Azerbaijan, and
their respect for each other.
Appreciating the occasion in turn, the Azeri president
maintained that the need for exchanging opinions between the two countries
is an ongoing one.
The European Commission has selected 178 new projects to fund
under the framework of the YOUTH and EUROMED YOUTH programs, aiming to
promote the intercultural dialogue in the Mediterranean and South Eastern
The funding for the selected projects will be around 4.2
million Euros. Many of these projects will be carried out with the
co-operation of international organizations such as the United Nations, the
European Commission announced Monday.
''The new selected projects will increase the opportunities
offered to young people and contribute to a better dialogue between
cultures," said the European Commissioner for Education and Culture
Amongst the 178 selected projects, 76 aim at promoting a
better understanding of the respective environments and cultures of young
people, mutual understanding and tolerance as well as different forms of
democratic participation in society.
23 selected projects linked to South Eastern Europe address
specific challenges in the region. Themes for youth exchanges and training
activities with the region vary from health care and intercultural
understanding to peace building.
For example, 25 youngsters from Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina,
Germany, Greece, Romania, Turkey, Serbia and Montenegro will participate in
an exchange on the theme of minorities and the protection of their rights.
groundbreaking conference on “Dialogue Among Civilizations” is slated to
be convened late this month in Zabol, a city in the eastern province of
Sistan and Baluchestan.
Manager of the Bureau for the International Scientific Cooperation of the Zabol University Nasrollah Basirani said that the one-day dialogue meeting is also to shed light on the role of the religions in promotion of the human civilizations.
Representatives will attend the meeting from regional states including India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
One of the main objectives of the watershed meeting is for experts and officials to exchange views on how to consolidate peace and stability in the Middle East and South Eastern Asia.
Today's world is in need of dialogue, he said adding that the achievements of the plan of the dialogue would be discussed in the meeting.
He said if the Muslim world wishes to play a key and active part under the current sensitive circumstances on the international scene, it has to promote its messages through dialogue program.
The idea of “Dialogue Among Civilizations”, introduced by President Khatami, has received wide welcome by the international community.
He went on to say that religion and culture have been playing a key part in the creation and promotion of civilizations in the human societies adding that dialogue could contribute to peace and calmness in all areas.
Dialogue should not be reduced to the political discussions since it can play a key role in all domains, the official noted.
Minister of Human Rights, Communications and Relations with the Chamber of
Deputies Mohamed Fethi Houidi here Saturday pledged Tunisia's support for
Iran's proposal of dialogue among civilizations.
Houidi, in a meeting with the visiting Head of Iran-Tunisia Parliamentary
Friendship Group Rajabali Mazrouei, stressed that such dialogue would depict
the true image of Islamic culture and civilization.
He said the Tunisian President Zeine El Abidine Ben Ali attaches great significance to promoting the culture of dialogue among civilizations, as a necessity for the world and Muslims.
Houidi said a civilizational dialogue will bring understanding, convergence
among nations and will prevent the clashes among cultures.
The Tunisian minister said Iran enjoys a significant standing in promoting human history and developing the Islamic civilization.
He reiterated that the Islamic Republic has taken a giant step in advocating co-existence among world nations.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Fethi Houidi called on Muslim media and scholars to foil the propaganda against Islamic tenets.
for his part, appreciated the views of Tunisian president on civilizational
dialogue, and reiterated that such dialogue would promote joint Islamic
values as well the co-existence of human beings.
The Iranian Majlis deputy from Isfahan stressed the contribution of common views among Iranian and Tunisian media and parliamentary friendship groups in propagating the true image of Islamic culture to the world.
International Conference of the News Agencies on 'Coalition for Peace' due
to be held in Tehran on July 23-24 will help the international campaign
against terrorism, IRNA Managing Director Abdollah Nasseri said May 29th.
He said the international community is in dire need of peace and co-existence and hoped that the Conference will prepare a common ground for the news agencies to help promote international peace and understanding.
decided to hold the international conference in line with President Mohammad
Khatami's proposal to the international community earlier to form 'Coalition
for Peace' instead of 'Coalition for War' being sought by the United States.
The news agencies are expected to display the ugly face of
war from the humanitarian outlook and the benefit of avoiding war and
promoting peace in the international community, he said.
IRNA has invited more than one hundred news agencies from
across the globe to take part in the international conference.
Tunisian Minister of Religious Affairs and the ex-president
of the Zeytooneh University Dr.
Jalloul Al-Jeribi, met and conferred with the President of the International
Centre for Dialogue Among Civilizxations Dr. Ataollah Mohajerani on May 29th.
Dr. Al-Jeribi who was accompanied by the Tunisia’s
ambassador to Tehran, announced the opening of a course on Dialogue among
Civilizations in the universities of Tunisia, noting that the idea of
dialogue among civilizations is now the main issue on an international
Also stressing on the necessity of interaction and peaceful
coexistence among civilizations, the Tunisian minister held the lack of a
mutual understanding as the main obstacle facing dialogue among
Criticizing the prejudiced actions of some social groups in
Islamic and non-Islamic societies, he called restraining forces as the
impediments of dialogue among the two civilizations of Islam and West, and
emphasized that Islam is the religion of tolerance and dialogue.
Referring to the international seminar on Dialogue among
civilizations entitled “Islam and Peace” to be held in Tunisia in the
next 6 months, Dr. Al-Jeribi officially invited Dr, Mohajerani to attend
this seminar whish is to be coorganized by the Organization of Islamic
Conference and Tunisia’s ministry of Religious Affairs.
Accepting this invitation, Dr. Mohajerani expressed his
keenness for ICDAC and other research and scientific centers of Iran to
establish relationships with similar organization in Tunisia.
Calling today’s age “the Age of Dialogue”, he further
remarked: “It is of utmost necessity that the West elevates its knowledge
of the East and the Muslim world. At times and as a result of their lacking
knowledge of the East or Islam, westerners assume that they are the center
of the world, and everything has begun in West. Now the question we should
answer is why we who have been the hub of science at one time, are now
receded back towards the margins? And what are we to do to repossess our
position among science generators of the world?
Centre for Dialogue among Civilizations and Cultures (CELADEC) invited the
International Centre for Dialogue among Civilizations to cooperate in
holding the gathering entitled 1st Latin and Iberoamerican
Encounter of University Students for the Dialogue in Caracas on June 16-23.
attendants will exchange views on a variety of topics such as Economy and
Globalization, Religion, Ethnics and Cultures, Political Issues, Energy and
Petroleum, Human Rights, International Relations and Integration, Education,
International Rights Treaties and Agreements, The United Nations and Youth,
and Drug Traffic, Democracy, Guerilla, Warefare and Terrorism.
meeting between the CELADEC delegation and ICDAC president Dr. Mohajerani on
May 21st, CELADEC president Louis Eduardo Manrosa stated that the
gathering will attend 1300 to 1500 students from 430 universities of 50
countries. He stressed on the special and positive role of the youth in the
international scene, saying that the cooperation of students in this
gathering will be a supporting factor in substantiating the theory of
Dialogue among Civilizations.
then made a proposal that 12 PhD students of Iranian Universities be
selected by the ICDAC and sent to attend this gathering in Caracas, to which
Dr. Mohajerani readily gave his assent.
CELADEC delegates also made a request for the attendance of Iranian president Mohammad Khatami in the opening ceremony of the gathering. It was mentioned that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will deliver a lecture at the closing ceremony.
Deputy Foreign Minister for Education and Research Sadeq Kharrazi said here on Tuesday that Iran considers dialogue and positive exchanges as the best way for identifying problems and challenges and for better management of bilateral and multilateral ties.
Kharrazi told the inaugural session of `Iran-Germany Forum' here at Foreign
Ministry's Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) that
Iran and Germany enjoy abundant potentials for expansion of bilateral ties.
said commercial relations between Iran and Germany can be promoted in
different fields, including technology transfer and joint venture
implementation of economic projects in Afghanistan, Central Asia and the
Berlin has acknowledged Iran's political role in guaranteeing stability west of Asia and Tehran is aware of Germany’s positive role in shaping European policies, he said.
the two sides' important potential, Iran and Germany can play their due role
through regular consultations on regional and international levels on
different global subjects, added Sadeq Kharrazi.
Considering the outstanding status of Iranian and German cultures and civilizations in the world history and their traditional cooperation in the fields, it seems that exploration of new grounds for mutual cultural cooperation can open a new horizon to future ties, concluded Kharrazi.
of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Seyyed Mohammad Khatami, UN
Director-General, Kofi Anan and Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu
Kyi, the two Nobel peace prize Laureates, were chosen as the presenters of
worldviews in year 2002’s report on UN Human Development, announced
Francesco Bastalli, the resident envoy of the Untied Nations Development
years main motto of the Human Development report is “ideal government”
and invited writers will present their views in this regard” he told the
reporters on Wednesday.
asked about the reason behind his selection, he said” As the initiator of
‘Dialogue Among Civilizations’ and a well-known figure among the
countries worldwide and developing countries, Seyyed Mohammad Khatami
proposed the idea of ‘tolerance’ and ‘dialogue’ for creating a
better world. UN chose him to present his views in Human Development report
2002 due to his great endeavors towards an ‘ideal government’.
Mark Malloch Brown, the UNDP Administrator who is to travel to Tehran to
take part in the Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan’s Economic Ministers
Summit will officially present Mr. Khatami with the invitation he has
Designating year 2002 as the year of” Museums and Globalization”, International Council of Museums (ICOM) called on all professional staff of museums world over to defend the role of their institutes in discussions on Globalization.
While confirming the benefits museums gain from world new order, President of ICOM, Jacques perot, warned against its unpleasant effects on cultural development.
Statement issued by ICOM calls on staffs of all museums world over to join hands in confronting any kind of proposal that would weaken the self-evident principle of cultural diversity and to keep on supporting all nations’ cultural concepts and natural heritage.
With regards to the museums’ role in providing information on cultural differences, the statement calls museums responsible for mutual understanding, cooperation and establishment of peace among nations.
Bishkek Humanities University on Monday awarded President Mohammad Khatami with honorary doctorate. Chancellor of the University, Mrs Ishengul Boljurova conferred a doctorate on President Khatami in a ceremony attended by President Askar Akayev and several other senior officials and lecturers and students from Kyrgyzstan.
Mrs. Boljurova said that university awarded the honorary doctorate to Iranian president in recognition of his services to promote constructive dialogue among nations and his theoretical contribution to philosophy and education of the young generation.
She said that President Khatami has been awarded as a philosopher not as a head of state. She said that President Khatami is a well-known philosopher of the 20th and 21st centuries who has put forward theories about morality and constructive approach to the global system as well as his advocacy of avoiding despotism in international politics.
President Khatami delivered a speech about dialogue of civilizations and called the human beings to foster dialogue with himself before going ahead with dialogue with others. He said that the Islamic civilization is an effective part of the global civilization, which should be taken into account, otherwise, a positive trend in humanity's cultural domain will be ignored.
He regretted that the western and the eastern intellectuals describe each other either advocates of western fundamentalism or religious fundamentalism, on one hand, and the secular movements have gained momentum in the West and the East, on the other. This brought a cycle of degeneration.
President Khatami complained that the backward mentality which advocates religion, but fails to understand social progress leads to prejudice and violence, on one hand and the humanist intellectuals are lobbying for not heeding the cultural and historical identity of the nations, on the other.
He called on the international community to follow a new kind of outlook toward nations and bring about an atmosphere to respect each other's cultural identity to help the world nations lead an honorable life by fostering constructive attitude to one another.
President Akayev appreciated President Khatami's concept of humanity and the international developments and said that Iranian president is advocating peace, tolerance and understanding in the international community instead of the conflicts and hostility.
President Mohammad Khatami here Saturday described the world teetering on the brink of a massive war and annihilation and asked countries to wake up and make coalition for peace.
"Today, due to the advancement of destructive arms and weapons of mass destruction, the main issue is the probability of a war and a massacre and that whether the scales will be tipped for the duration of human life or its annihilation," he told university professors and students at the Science Academy in this Uzbek capital city.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran proposed the idea of 'Dialogue among Civilizations' at the United Nations several years ago. Now, a fundamental step has to be taken in order to realize that: “global coalition for peace," the philosopher-president said of his initiative, announced as an international theme by UN in 2001.
Only a peace coalition could fend off the threat of a massive war and a total destruction, Khatami said, hailing popular peaceful calls in some countries "where their political and military leaders speak in a language of war and violence".
The Iranian president made a veiled broadside on US President George W. Bush for his comments in the aftermath of the September 11 attack on American landmarks, in which he threatened to launch a Crusade war, similar to the one in the medieval times, of Christians against Muslims.
is surprising to see some politicians, who boast of intellectualism, culture
and civilization, speak of a Crusade war after several centuries (since that
event)," Khatami said.
has lumped Iran as part of an 'axis of evil' along with Iraq and North
Korea, despite Tehran's immediate condemnation of the September 11 attack.
President Islam Karimov officially welcomed President Mohammad Khatami at
palace in Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan, on Friday.
the welcoming ceremony, the two presidents began their negotiations behind
Khatami's two-day visit, which is taking place at the invitation of the
Uzbek president, both countries will explore the avenues to boost and
bolster mutual cooperation.
president, heading a high-ranking delegation, is scheduled to inspect
various historical monuments and cultural sites in Samarkand and Bokhara in
is the third leg of the president's visit to the Central Asian countries.
Khatami embarked on a tour of regional countries on Saturday when he arrived in Ashkhabad to meet Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov for talks on issues of mutual interest.
also attended the summit of the Caspian Sea littoral states to discuss ways
to finalize decisions on the legal regime of the sea during his two-day stay
in Turkmenistan's capital.
Khatami left Ashkhabad for Almaty on Wednesday to meet President Nursultan
Nazarbayev for talks on ways to promote bilateral bonds.
in Almaty, the Iranian president took part in the First Eurasian Media Forum
where he called on the world media to lead the international public opinion
towards peace, security, justice and morals.
was also awarded an honorary doctorate by Al-Farabi State University of
Kazakhstan for his efforts to develop friendship between the Iranian and
Kazakh nations and to establish democracy and international peace through
the ideas of 'Dialogue Among Civilizations' and 'World Coalition for Peace'.
tour of Central Asian nations will take him to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan
Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamal Kharrazi, Minister of Science, Research and Technology Mostafa Moin, Minister of Roads and Transportation Ahmad Khorram and a number of Majlis deputies are accompanying him in this trip.
A group of 128 US intellectuals opposed to the notion that
the "war on terrorism" is a "just war" has sent a letter
to European counterparts calling for "a sane and frank European
criticism of the Bush administration's war policy."
The letter challenges the framing of the war as a struggle
between good and evil, as well as President George W. Bush's explanation for
It was conceived as a response to an earlier letter defending
the war on terrorism, signed by 60 American intellectuals, which recently
received wide publicity in European newspapers.
"We felt that their notion of 'just war' should not go
unchallenged," signer Edward S. Herman told AFP Monday.
The letter "was in some ways trying to provide an
antidote for the reflexive hyper nationalism in the American press and in
Washington in general -- and in the end in the American public -- partly
because the press has been uncritical," said Joel Bleifuss, editor of
the independent socialist newspaper In These Times.
Besides Herman and Bleifuss, signers included author Gore
Vidal, historian Howard Zinn, anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicott and
international lawyer Francis A. Boyle.
"Many informed people both within and outside your
governments are aware of the dangerous folly of the war path followed by the
Bush administration. But few dare speak out honestly," said the letter,
which was circulated last week.
"They are afraid of being labeled 'anti-American' -- the
same label absurdly applied to Americans themselves who speak out against
war policies and whose protests are easily drowned out in the chorus of
chauvinism dominating the US media," it said.
"A sane and frank European criticism of the Bush
administration's war policy can help anti-war Americans make their voices
The letter also challenged Bush's explanation for anti-US
sentiments that motivated the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and
"In this ideological context, the question raised after
September 11, 'Why do they hate us?' has only one answer: 'Because we are so
good!' Or, as is commonly claimed, they hate us because of 'our values.'
"Most US citizens are unaware that the effect of US power abroad has nothing to do with the 'values' celebrated at home and indeed often serves to deprive people in other countries of the opportunity to attempt to enjoy them, should they care to do so," it said.
In a meeting with the head of the Ethiopian Orthodox church
Patriarch Abune Paulos, Iran’s ambassador to Ethiopia Morteza Damanpak
Jami, referring to the early days in the history of Islam when the
Prophet’s apostles immigrated to Ethiopia, appreciated the dignity,
hospitality and religious tolerance of Ethiopians towards Muslims, and
remarked on the old and historic relations of Iran and Ethiopia.
On the issue of Dialogue among Civilizations, Damanpak stated
that Iran has already initiated the interreligious dialogue. Commenting on
the solid religious beliefs and peaceful coexistence of Muslims and Orthodox
Christians in Africa, he proposed that the first Dialogue among Islam and
Christianity conference in Africa be held in Ethiopia.
Patriarch Abune Paulos in turn referred to the old
civilization of Iran, appreciating the achievements of Islamic Revolution
and the promotion of religious culture in Iran. He further said: “God is
the creator of all men of all colors and races, and none of the modern
sciences can offer a real definition of life other than the path of humanity
defined by the holy prophets.”
He also voiced his support for the dialogue among Civilizations as a solution for increasing the understanding among different divine religions. Underlining the peaceful coexistence of Muslims and Christians of Ethiopia in the past 1400 years ago, he said that the Orthodox Church is ready to participate in such dialogues.
Presidential Advisor and Head of the International Centre for
Dialogue Among Civilizations Ataollah Mohajerani in a meeting with Turkish
Ambassador to Tehran Salahattin Alpar called for the expansion of the
Iran-Turkey ties in the cultural and scientific area.
the meeting held in the Centre, Mohajerani said Iran and Turkey could
successfully work together in the cultural and civilizational affairs due to
the many commonalities between the two states. He set forth a proposition on
setting up of an international gathering to promote the dialogue of
The Turkish ambassador said in turn that Turkey has paid
great importance to the dialogue idea and is yet to adopt measures to
promote the idea. He said the Iranian policies were of prime importance for
Turkey while calling for regular consultations between the Iranian and
Turkish authorities to promote the all-out bilateral relations.
A conference entitled the Shared Sphere of Iranian and Arabic Civilizations wrapped up its cultural activities, issuing a communique at the presence of Iranian, Syrian and some Arab countries' authorities and intellectuals on April 6th.
The two-day conference in the framework of the Iranian-proposed Dialogue Among Civilizations international project, was opened on Wednesday and was originally scheduled for two days, but due to participation of the Damascus University professors and students in pro-Palestinian demonstrations its closing ceremony was postponed till Saturday.
Head of Iran's Islamic Communications and Propagation Organization Hojatoleslam Mahmoud Mohammadi-Eraqi attended the opening and closing sessions of the conference and some of its meeting, offering a couple of lectures on the proximity of the Iranian and Arabic cultures.
During the conference it was stressed that the establishment of a Persian Language Research Center at Damascus University, basic agreement on which has been reached back in 1999 in a meeting between the Arab Writers Association and the Faculty of Persian Language and Literature of the University of Tehran, must be speedily finalized.
The conference also urged for the establishment of a faculty of Persian Language and Literature at Damascus University, like all other major universities in the Arab world.
In the final communique of the conference we read: "the Arabic and Persian literatures are quite close to each other logistically, and it is highly suggested that joint research works on proximity of the Iranian and Arab cultures in such fields as history, sciences, philosophy and mysticism would be studied jointly by Iranian and Arab university researchers and professors.”
Among the other suggestions in the final communique of the conference, the attendants have stressed the importance of establishing a joint Iranian-Arabic group, commissioned to research on the biographies of Iranian and Arab personalities in Persian and Arabic history and literature texts, aimed at finding the relationship between Iranian and Arabic civilizations and elimination of certain existing misconceptions and erroneous beliefs on the differences between them.
The organizers of the conference have meanwhile referred to the prevailing difficulties in teaching Arabic language and literature in all Iranian universities, asking for a special gathering between Iranian and Arab professors of the Arabic language, aimed at solving the said problems effectively.
Seventeen Iranian, Syrian, Lebanese, Algerian and Jordanian thinkers and intellectuals presented their papers on the two-way effect of the Persian and Arabic languages on each other during the Damascus civilizational conference.
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami on March 15 was awarded the gold medal of Athens Panteion University, in appreciation for his civilizational dialogue proposal.
Director of Panteion University Panayiotis Getimis lauded Khatami's idea of Dialogue among Civilizations, which was announced as an international theme in 2001 by the United Nations.
The Greek chancellor further described the cultural legacy of the world nations as a common heritage of mankind, and a source of prosperity and progress for the world people and governments.
Getimis endorsed President Khatami's initiative as "a logical call" which invites the world nations to dialogue and understanding.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Panteion director stressed that the world community, particularly the United Nations, must strive to reinforce peace and stability at the global level.
Khatami, in a ceremony held here Thursday by the mayor of Athens, was also handed the Gold Key of the city in appreciation of the Iranian president's efforts for promoting cooperation among world nations.
"Athens... is presenting you its most prestigious golden sign as a token of friendship with a nation whom you are presiding over and in appreciation of your efforts for promoting cooperation among nations," mayor of Athens Dimitris Avramopoulos addressed Khatami as saying.
The mayor lauded Khatami for his "important steps for the establishment of democracy" in Iran and helping the Islamic Republic "improve its ties with the West.”
President Khatami described the honorary Key of Athens as a symbol of friendship between Iran and Greece.
He arrived in Athens on Wednesday during a European tour, which already took him to Austria for talks on ways of boosting Tehran's relations with Athens and Vienna.
He wound up his three-day visit to Greece and left Athens for Tehran Friday. The Iranian president was seen off at the Athens airport by his Greek counterpart Konstantinos Stefanopoulos.
A high-profile delegation, including Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, Minister of Industries and Mines Eshaq Jahangiri and Oil Minister Bijan Namdar-Zanganeh, accompanied the Iranian president in the tour.
Head of Iran's International Centre for Dialogue Among Civilizations Ataollah Mohajerani said on Wednesday that the issue of dialogue among Iran and US intellectuals is not anything new and such dialogue has been going on in the past, and is to continue in future.
Speaking at a press conference and in reply to the question "What measures have been taken by the Centre in accordance with the Presidential emphasis for the participation of Iran in the coalition of peace against that of war?" Mohajerani said that ‘peace and dialogue' makes the Centre's agenda, adding, "Bringing up the concepts related to peace and calling upon the intellectuals and specialists are among the measures usually taken at the Centre."
Referring to the first international conference on literature and dialogue held in Kish Island, he said that this was the first conference of its kind, so it might have been inefficient in some respects.
He added, "One should not have high expectations on the first conference of its kind, even we ourselves didn't expect the great global authors to attend the conference.”
He said that the conference was aimed at preparing the ground for the dialogue among the youth and authors of high expertise, and it was successful to some extent.
Referring to the similar conferences to be held in the coming years, he said "Any criticism and proposals in this respect are welcome. We hope that the conference will be more successfully held in future by the attendance of more authors of a higher caliber."
In reply to the question as why the conference was not coordinated with the Iranian Authors Association, he said that the association is not legally authorized. He added that during his term as culture minister he called upon them to take charge of the legal stages to register the association but they failed to do so. That's why the Centre could not officially enter into negotiation with them.
The first international conference on literature and dialogue
among civilizations was held jointly by the International Center for
Dialogue among Civilizations and the Kish Free Zone Organization at Kish
Island on March 5-7.
“There should be an intellectual relation between the Americans with a positive regard for Iran, so that an exchange of thought and opinion could be established between the thinkers of the two countries,” stated the Foreign Ministry’s Deputy for Education and Research Sadegh Kharazi.
He said: “We should make a serious attempt and look for opportunities on a larger scale to enlighten the American mind, maintaining the values and principles of our own national order.”
He further added: “Also, we have to proceed with dialogue with the American intellectuals who have a more liberal outlook and attitude, and pay more attention to providing facilities to assist this elite group as well as reporters to pay visits to Iran.
Kharrazi then held: “It is our duty to do our best to make it known that America’s policies towards the region, Iran and the Muslim world is wrong. That’s when we could be sure to succeed.”
He stated: “America is a reality and so is Iran. We should not act passively when it comes to America, but we should be realistic in considering Iran’s interests and make decisions accordingly.
Kharrazi continued: “Americans could have used the September 11 events as a singularly valuable opportunity to resolve their fundamental conflicts with the Muslim world, Middle East and Asia, but they didn’t do anything about it.”
He stressed: “What threatens the regional security, and
prevents us from building up the trust is the presence of foreign forces in
the region, which should not be overlooked, now that the countries of the
region have reached a solid understanding with regard to the regional
President Seyed Mohammad Khatami termed as ‘ugly' the term used by the US President George W. Bush against Iran.
President Khatami told a joint press conference with his Austrian counterpart President Thomas Klestil that the term `axis of evil' was also used during World War Two and no one suffered the pains, caused by the war, as much as the Europeans did.
US president had in his state of the union address on January 29 termed Iran, Iraq and North Korea as part of an 'axis of evil' and accused them of attempting to develop weapons of mass destruction.
President Khatami said that leaving aside the insults leveled against the Iranians and other nations, shouldn't the world be concerned over war-mongering attitude that will lead to another world war?
He said he entrusted the judgment on the matter to public conscience and public opinion in Europe, so that they will judge who is inviting the world to war.
"Do the war-mongers spread 'evil' or those who invite the world people to dialogue of civilizations?" asked Khatami.
He said the world conscience should judge whether 'evil' invites the world to coalition for war or coalition for peace based on justice.
He added that Iran invites the world to dialogue of civilizations and coalition for peace based on justice and such an invitation has been raised by Iran at the UN and the idea was welcomed by the awaken conscience.
He stressed that today the powers should join hands and fight poverty, injustice, tyranny, assassination and violence instead of calling opponents as 'evil'.
Khatami said that he cared for man's conscience and history's judgment rather than thinking about today's violent atmosphere. He said that he is confident history will be the best judge.
The president said he considers greatness of governments and nations not on the basis of the area of their country and their population, rather in their bases in history and the role they might have in the contemporary world.
Khatami said due to the same reason, Austria is a country with a great nation today. He said Iran's dialogue with Austria will not only be dialogue between two countries but dialogue between two histories, civilizations and nations, which seek peace, calm and justice in the world.
He said today's world is in dire need of peace, justice and co-existence more than violence, hatred, terror and war.
He expressed optimism over outcome of agreements reached with Austria and said he was confident good relations between Iran and Austria will further expand in future.
Meanwhile, President Klestil said neither he, nor Austrian government and nation and the European Union agree to the statements, accusations and claims made by US president against Iran. He said that he raised the issue explicitly with the foreign section of the European Union.
He called as 'helpful and extensive' his talks with Iranian president and his entourage and said they focused on political and economic issues as well as dialogue among civilizations.
He hailed Iran's 'highly important' role in Central Asia, the Persian Gulf and the Middle East.
He touched on the September 11 incident in the U.S. and said Iran had in line with the anti-terrorist coalition speedily and strongly condemned the attacks.
President Klestil also reiterated that Iran provided nearly three million Afghan refugees with shelter and actively contributed to the Bonn and Tokyo conferences for restoration of peace and reconstruction of Afghanistan, speedily contributing to the coalition against terrorism.
He said both Iran and Austria are concerned about the alarming situation in the Middle East and will take any measures deemed necessary to stop violence in the region and help establish lasting peace in the Middle East.
Visiting Iranian President Mohammad Khatami and his Austrian counterpart Thomas Klestil held a joint press conference in the Hofburg Palace where Klestil supported Khatami's proposal for world coalition for peace and dialogue of civilizations. Klestil said: ''We believe that the dialogue is always better than confrontation.”
''Austria welcomes President Khatami's proposal either in terms of bilateral ties or at the UN'', Klestil said adding ''If we pay attention to the increasing violence in the Middle East, we will appreciate more the value of the proposal of dialogue among the civilizations.”
Austrian President Thomas Klestil on March 11th accorded formal welcome to President Mohammad Khatami at Hofburg Palace. The national anthems of Iran and Austria were played and the two presidents reviewed the honor guards at Hofburgplatz. President Khatami and President Klestil started negotiations after the ceremony.
President Khatami is to take part in a Conference on 'Dialogue of Religions for Peace' at Hofburg Palace.
While in Vienna, Khatami is scheduled to review the latest regional and international developments as well as expansion of cooperation between the Islamic Republic and the European Union (EU) in his meetings with Chancellor Wolfgang Schussel, Parliament Speaker Heinz Fisher and heads of political parties.
Iran's President Seyed Mohammad Khatami gave an address at the dinner ceremony thrown in his favor by Austria's President Thomas Klestil on Monday night.
In his address President Khatami announced that a new type of fundamentalism and bigotry is currently emerging at global level, which relies on the logic of gunpoint and has seriously threatened man's life on earth.
He added: "such an expansionist version of fundamentalism relies on such new world phenomena as accumulation of military power, wealth and technology, coupled with extremism, seeking violence and trying to sell it to the world nations as pure manifestation of justice.
"He who resorts to totalitarian methods in the name of religion and observes harsh methods against nations, too, is an enemy of sound wisdom, dialogue, lenience, freedom, man's independence, and his right to choose his own fate and ruling system, freely" said President Khatami.
He reiterated that the two symbols of aggression and destruction are being displayed side by side of each other, posing an unprecedented big threat for the whole mankind.
President Khatami emphasized, "employing religion at the service of the ruling power and resorting to it to justify aggression is the biggest enemy of expansion of monotheism in modern world.”
He said, "expansionism and totalitarianism are both manifestations of a faith and religion that relies on such foundations that are beyond pure logic and dialogue, since the foundation of such beliefs is based on full denial of the other party, particularly at the political scene, the practical manifestation of them will be resorting to harsh methods aimed at annihilation of the opponent.”
He said that the latter group divides the whole world into two halves: one is with them and follows their orders, and the other is against them and must be eliminated.
President Khatami said that the world today is passing through one of its most sensitive passages of mankind's history, securing a safe passage through which calls for collective wisdom of the whole mankind.
He added: "Man is in pursuit of wisdom and pure logic in the third millennium, and wishes to wipe off ignorance and violence resorting to dialogue and lenience. The president added, "man also wishes today to replace forceful methods and totalitarianism with liberty and justice.”
Khatami expressed deep sorrow over the fact that the ruling international relations today do not match the real needs and wisdom of the third millennium man, arguing that today the wretched phenomenon of terrorism is a pending threat against stable policy making and creating vague enemies in the hallucinations of some politicians threaten peaceful coexistence of world nations and the global peace.
The Iranian president emphasized: "What has made life tough for the mankind is beyond the barriers of sound logic and dialogue.”
He added that the modern world is entangled with the hegemony of such thoughts that wish to replace dialogue with violence, war with peace and despotism with democracy.
President Khatami pointed out that the said threats have endangered man's life on earth, both at individual and at collective and social levels and it is based on such a bare necessity that Iran has extended a hand of friendship and cooperation towards all world nations.
He once again denounced all types of terrorism, warmongering, violence and despotism, asking for expansion of justice and global understanding among mankind.
President Khatami reminded the audiences of Iran’s clear stand against international terrorism and its constructive approach towards the recent developments in Afghanistan, as a part of our country's contribution to the cause of peace at global level.
He said that another aspect of such efforts is stressing on the need for realization of the natural rights of the world nations, including that of the Palestinian nation, under the umbrella of elimination of poverty and warmongering at global level, resorting to collective contributions and wisdom of the world nations.
Khatami said: "the world is thirsty for justice, freedom, spirituality, ethics, peace and peaceful coexistence of the whole mankind today in all spheres of life, and my proposal on the global need for formation of an International Peace Coalition was aimed at opening the gates of a brighter life to the whole mankind so that all nations would enjoy advancement and sovereignty thoroughly.”
Austria's President Klestil, too, praised President Khatami's policy of international detente, which is a valuable approach towards solving crises, while also appreciating Iran's idea of Dialogue Among Civilizations and its constructive approach towards Afghanistan developments and the vast role Iran has agreed to play in reconstruction of that war torn country.
The Austrian president meanwhile voiced his country's full support for broader ties between Iran and the European Union, including signing cooperation agreements.
A large number of high-ranking Austrian politicians, as well as Iranian and other countries' envoys to Vienna were present at the ceremony.
President Khatami arrived in Vienna on March 11, at the
invitation of Austrian President Thomas Klestil, whose visit to Tehran in
September 1999 was the first by a EU president since Iran's Islamic
revolution in 1979.
Iran's former Culture Minister Ataollah Mohajerani has attacked US President George W. Bush's "contradictory" policies, saying that Washington was seeking to "americanize" the world.
The Japanese news agency Kyodo has further cited him as saying in an exclusive interview that Bush's recent State of the Union speech, in which he accused Iran of forming an "axis of evil" along with Iraq and North Korea, was "warmongering.”
"From Bush's remarks we get the feeling that what they want is Americanization. They think that since Coca-Cola and McDonalds have been globalized, people's understanding and values must also be Americanized," the agency cited Mohajerani, who is currently the head of Iran's International Centre for Dialogue Among Civilization, as saying.
Mohajerani also questioned Bush's 379 billion-dollar defense budget for 2003 -- a 48 billion-dollar increase over that of 2002 -- saying the package highlighted the US government's "contradictory policies.”
"Bush has said he wants to promote the US economy, but he is planning to cut public spending projects and add them to the military budget. No one would believe that the US is seeking peace," Mohajerani said.
The September 11 attack on the US landmarks "brought many people to realize the importance of dialogue", he said, stressing President Mohammad Khatami's idea of 'dialogue among civilizations', which was announced as an international theme in 2001 by the United Nations.
"We need to have dialogue for peace. It is not possible to achieve peace through war. We have a proverb in Farsi, saying: 'it is not possible to wash blood with blood'," Kyodo further quoted Mohajerani.
The Iranian official ruled out the thinking that the attack, blamed by Washington on al-Qaeda, had blocked the process of 'civilizational dialogue.’
"I don't think it was blocked. We were among the first countries to condemn the terrorist attack. Khatami in the first hours after the attack condemned the attack on the towers," he added.
He however admitted that Bush's "evil axis" attribution had made it difficult to promote dialogue among civilizations.
"Of course I accept it could be more difficult, but we can even use this opportunity to underline the importance of dialogue," Kyodo quoted Mohajerani as saying.
Department of women of the Physical Education Organization,
Centers for Women’s cooperative affairs and the Girls’ Physical
Education Office of the Ministry of Education held the first congress of
“Woman, Sports and Dialogue among Civilizations” in Tehran, 26-27
The congress was aimed to establish understanding, sympathy
and unity through sports in the international scenes, provide the proper
ground for exchange of human views and ideas, and introduce the culture of
Iranian women’s sport to other countries.
Eighty articles were received by the congress secretariat,
thirteen of which were delivered at the congress by the experts on related
During the congress, which was held at the Iranian Organization of International Societies, issues such as “Women’s Sports and Promotion of Culture and Communications”, “Sports and Women’s Mental Health”, “Woman, Sports and Environment”, “Woman, Sports, World Peace and Dialogue among Civilizations” were discussed.
In a meeting with Iranian Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi, he said Iran was a
country with a high civilization and culture. He wished success for the
Iranian government and people.
Karroubi said the expansion of ties between Iran and Vatican would be a great stride toward promotion of the dialogue of civilizations championed by President Khatami.
He called for the continuation of deliberations between Iran and
Vatican to further boost the mutual ties.
Important issues including Dialogue among Civilizations, world peace and efforts to end hostility in the region as well as expansion of ties between Tehran and Vatican City were among the major topics discussed by the two sides.
Karroubi is in Italy at the official invitation of his Italian counterpart
for a three-day official visit to the country. He conferred with
high-ranking Italian political, scientific and cultural
Khatami calls on Intl. community to move towards justice,
equality, Tehran, March 9, 2002
President Mohammad Khatami in a message to the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Saturday called on the international community to make efforts to move towards justice and equality. "Human beings in the Third Millennium are faced with immense challenges, and without the sincere cooperation of all members of the international community, any effort towards equality and justice would be impossible," read part of President Khatami's message. Khatami who was responding to Kofi Annan's congratulatory message on the 23rd anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution voiced Iran's readiness to contribute to the UN's regional and international efforts with a view to promoting world peace and stability, as a prerequisite for renovation and development.
President Mohammad Khatami said on Saturday that major part of the world's problems will be resolved if politicians consider culture in politics and power spectrum.
Addressing an International Forum on 'Islamic and Latin Heritage' attended by several distinguished figures from Latin America, President Khatami said that the extensive welcome accorded to the proposal of dialogue of civilization indicated the urgent need of the international community to it. He regretted that the year 2001, the year of dialogue of civilizations turned to the year of violence, war and terrorism and said, "Those used to war, violence and imposition of their views, cannot easily submit to the logic of dialogue, peace and justice.
"Terrorism and War are the sides of the same coin emanated from unilateral outlook as well as arrogance and not heeding the logic," the president pointed out. He said that if mutual respect and multilateral outlook were observed in dealing with the international issues, dialogue will never lose its efficacy.
President Khatami said that dialogue of civilizations, which is a means to honor equity of every human being and all nations, should take the place of force and extortion. He said that Iran has special status in promoting the Islamic civilization and said that Iran is working to enforce democracy in line with Iranian cultural and religious values.
The president referred to history of understanding between the western and the Islamic cultures and said, "I believe that the theory of 'clash of civilizations' or the theory of 'the end of history' are the outcome of western selfish and superiority attitude. "When you negate everything except the western values, certain reactions will follow in the form of extremism against the achievements of the western civilization," he said. "Terror, violence and extremism are reactions to war and humiliation. It is unfortunate that in the first year of the third millennium, the year known as the Year of Dialogue of Civilizations, became a year of terrorism, war and hatred. Selfish attitude leads the world community to war," President Khatami said.
President Khatami said that the western civilization and its achievements are great and undeniable realities, but, the western values are not the final ones. As long as the human being exists, innovation and creativity continue, he said.
He said that dialogue of civilizations between the Islamic and western nations are of great significance. President Khatami said that absence of due attention to morality and divine values in the western civilization is the main reason for inadequate interpretations of the religious doctrines.
He called on those peace-loving nations to seriously follow dialogue of civilizations to bring about a world where all human beings live with peace and harmony. Before the president's remarks, Deputy Foreign Minister for Education and Research Affairs Sadeq Kharrazi said that the Islamic Republic of Iran has put forward the proposal to form 'Coalition for Peace' which has been hailed by intellectuals around the world as the dire need of the contemporary era.
Secretary-General of the Academy of Latin Studies Candido Mendez, Brazilian Minister of Culture Francisco Weffort, former Portuguese president Mario Soares, Chairman of the Academy of Latin Studies Federico Mayor and several other university professors took part in the forum. They called for dialogue of civilizations as the means to establishing peace, security in the international community and bringing about international understanding.
THE WHITE HOUSE
March 7, 2002
I am pleased to send warm greetings to Iranian Americans observing Nowruz.
This year’s observance occurs during a period of trial, when our Nation is united in its determination to make the world safe from terrorism. The community of more than one million Iranian Americans has fully participated in this noble endeavor by condemning the terrorist acts, participating in rescue efforts at ground zero, and offering help and support to the victims, who included individuals of Persian heritage.
From the arts and education to industry and science, Iranian Americans have made significant and enduring contributions to the cultural and civic life of our Nation. Your observance of the traditional Persian New Year honors an ancient and storied history and marks a time of renewal. As the season changes, may this celebration of Nowruz serve as a special time for you to reflect on your rich heritage and to enjoy the company of family and friends.
Best wishes for a memorable celebration.
George W. Bush
Brazilian Minister of Culture Francisco Correa Weffort said here Friday that the dialogue amongst civilizations was the best way to restore sustainable peace and stability and key to the global crises.
Brazilian minister of culture arrived in Tehran on Tuesday on a three-day
visit at the invitation of his Iranian counterpart Ahmad Masjed Jamei.
on the results of his talks with the Iranian officials in an interview with
IRNA, he said he held watershed talks with the Iranian officials on the
bilateral ties and his meetings produced
Weffort said his country would support the dialogue amongst civilizations
championed by president Seyed Mohammad Khatami. He said an exhibition would
be set up in Brazil in september to display the artistic works and
handicrafts of the Iranian artists.
said there are many cultural bonds between the Iranian and Brazilian peoples
and this would lay the grounds for the two states to develop the bilateral
ties in all economic, political and social
was pleased with his visit to Iran and said the great Iranian and Brazilian
nations would take effective steps to bring about civilizational dialogue
and cultural exchange.
said Iran has a rich culture adding that Iran and Brazil would be the
harbinger of dialogue and peace.
underlined the importance of exchange of visits by the Iranian and Brazilian
writers, which he said, would serve to boost cultural cooperation.
German foreign ministry is to allocate five million euros for the special Islam dialogue program, aimed at deepening the dialogue between the Islamic and European cultures, DPA reported on March 2.
The main focus of this program will be northern Africa and Asia, the foreign ministry announced. The program intends also to establish closer contacts with especially younger people, create new networks and boost existing links.
Germany's ambassador to Syria, Gunter Mulack, will direct the special program. Cultural centers like the Goethe Institute, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation will also receive additional funds.
“Democracy should be a deep-seated reality, not an outward
act,” stated head of the International Centre for Dialogue Among
Civilizations Dr. Ataollah Mohajerani. “To participate in demonstrations
is a show of outward democracy, but when a public statement is made in the
name of Muslims it should be a reflection of Muslim people’s opinion and
views,” he said.
Speaking at a gathering of non-governmental organizations
entitled “NGOs: Moving towards Civil Society”, the presidential advisor
said: “The actual, continuing dialogue between people and the government
is the most creditable kind of dialogue, although I’m afraid governments
are not that keen to proceed with such dialogue.”
On the necessity of promoting the culture of dialogue, Dr.
Mohajerani held: “As long as some people believe they should be the ones
to say the last word, and that others are not intelligent enough to grasp
the reality, the culture of dialogue will come to a standstill. He further
stressed: “The government can engage NGOs in their of fields of interest,
so that these organizations can find their place in the governmental
Also in the sidelines of this gathering, ICDAC president told
the reporters that the NGOs could immensely contribute to the realization of
democracy, adding: “Governments should not regard these organizations and
parties as ornamental demonstrations of democracy.”
Emphasizing on how influential NGOs could be in the country,
Dr. Mohajerani said: “The relationship between these organizations and the
government is a bilateral one. The important thing, however, is to see how
seriously they take their responsibility, and what kind of acknowledgement
they receive form the government.”
ICDAC president further said: “NGOs could be greatly
advantageous to the country, depending on the authority they hold,
competence they achieve, and facilities they have.”
Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called upon a group of Iranian young intellectuals to contribute to the promotion of `dialogue among civilizations' as well as the Tehran-Tokyo friendly cooperation and to get familiar with Japan's culture and history.
The eight-member group currently in Tokyo on a ten-day visit, are due to get introduced to Japan's culture, history, people and other fields under a pre-arranged program.
An authority from Japan's Foreign Ministry that the visiting group has been selected among the active youth engaged in academic fields, publication and music.
Visiting Japanese universities, national library and national museum, historical temples, Hiroshima Peace Museum as well as exchange of views with the authorities in charge of these institutions are among the programs scheduled for the Iranian selected youth.
A similar visit aimed at strengthening the exchanges between the two nations, was arranged by Japan last year, by inviting a group of Iranian young intellectuals.
He said that such exchanges have increased since President Mohammad Khatami visited Japan in the fall of 2000.
According to a report released by Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this respect, President Khatami's idea of `dialogue among civilizations' was aimed at mutual understanding and interaction among various civilizations.
The report added, "Khatami's determination to initiate active exchange of views among intellectuals has been aimed at realizing such dialogues.”
It concluded that Japanese Foreign Ministry finds `dialogue
among civilizations' a means for establishing true peace and stability in
the international community, which accounts for its active support for it.
UNESCO Secretary General Koichiro Matsuura met and conferred
with the head of International Centre for Dialogue Among Civilizations and
Presidential advisor Dr. Ataollah Mohajerani on February 17.
Describing the objectives and activities of the Centre, Dr.
Mohajerani stated that the promotion of dialogue among civilizations could
build up the understanding between ethnic groups, nations and religions.
He further added: “ Carrying out research projects and
organizing national, regional and international seminars on Dialogue among
civilizations and cultures are high on the agenda of the Centre’s
scientific groups.” More specifically in this regard he mentioned the
Global Seminar on Fiction and Dialogue among Cultures, which is to be held
on March 5-7 in Kish Island, attending writers, translators, scholars and
critics of fictional works from all around the world.
Also stating that the ongoing Christian year is called the
Year of Socrates in Greece, he referred to the Seminar on Socrates, the Philosopher of Dialogue,
which is to be held on Feb 24-25, with the cooperation of the Centre and
Cultural Research Bureau.
president then gave a brief report on the activities of the Publication
Dept. of the Centre, introducing the books published by this Centre on the
issue of dialogue among cultures and civilizations.
Director General Matsuura in turn praised the initiative of Iran in
presenting the idea of dialogue among civilizations to the world, and
welcomed the promotional attempts of the Centre in this regard. He further
stressed: “Now that the idea has been successfully initiated, the
important issue is to have it established and realized.”
also described UNESCO as the place to realize and maintain the idea of
dialogue among civilizations and cultures.
the meeting, joint projects of the International Centre for Dialogue Among
Civilizations and UNESCO were discussed. Among these projects is the
publication of the History of Humankind, which has been collected and
compiled by the UNESCO, and is now translated to Farsi and in the process of
being published by the ICDAC.
Also attending this meeting were the
ambassador and permanent delegate of the Islamic Republic of Iran to UNESCO
Dr. Ahmad Jalali, secretary-general of the Iranian
National Office of UNESCO Dr. Shahi, a number of UNESCO officials and
directors of the Centre’s Scientific Groups.
An official of UNESCO said here Saturday that the
organization is planning to turn its Tehran bureau into its regional office
to cover Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan.
The Tehran regional UNESCO office that is scheduled to be
opened during UNESCO General Director Koichiro Matsuura's official trip to
Iran will be the first regional office of a UN-affiliate organization in
After his Saturday meeting with Iran's Minister of Sciences,
Research and Technology Mostafa Moin Saturday, the UNESCO Director General
said that his organization is determined to keep up efforts aimed at
continuation of fruitful Dialogue Among Civilizations, that is the
initiative of Iran's President Mohammad Khatami.
He further reiterated that keeping up efforts to promote
dialogue Among Civilizations is as much important for the UNESCO that it was
for the General Assembly, which spent noteworthy efforts to promote it
during the whole 2000 and 2001.
UNESCO Director General Matsuura arrived in Tehran on Friday and had his first visit with an Iranian official on Saturday. Iran has close cooperation with all UN affiliated agencies, particularly the UNESCO, UNICEF and UNHCR.
Visiting Director General of United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Koichiro Matsuura here on Feb
16 highlighted the significance of Iran's proposal to hold dialogue among
In a meeting with Minister of Sciences, Research and
Technology Mohammad Moin, the UNESCO director said his organization will
strive to contribute to holding the dialogue worldwide given the attention
it has received from the UN's General Assembly.
Matsuura said UNESCO is pursuing plans to fill the
information gap between developing countries, as a cornerstone of the
He said the 'Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity' has
been a major success of UNESCO over the past few years whose approval, he
stressed, was a turning point in the world's history.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the UNESCO director appreciated
Iran's efforts to increase the number of university students in the past
years, and hoped Iran would continue to encourage education at the
elementary schools, as well.
Minister of Science, Research and Technology Mostafa Moin
said on Feb 16 that the world is now in dire need of peace and the culture
of dialogue to prevent outbreak of conflict in the international community.
In a meeting with Director General of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Koichiro Matsuura, Moin said that the international community has undergone drastic scientific, cultural and social developments, treading the way to diversity, but such changes have not been reflected in world political scene.
The two theories of Clash of Civilizations and Dialogue of
Civilizations are the two different trends with different impacts on
He said that dialogue of civilizations received approval by
the member states in the 31st UNESCO General Assembly, adding that UNESCO is
going to put this into practice in its mid-term five-year action plan.
Moin said that Iran has set up the International Centre for
Dialogue Among Civilizations, which works to promote dialogue among
different cultures and respect for the values of other cultures, as well as
the campaign against prejudgment about other cultures, discrimination and
injustice at the global level.
The Iranian minister said that UNESCO is expected to take a
leading role in bringing about conformity among different and diverse
cultures in the world community.
Moin also briefed the UNESCO director general on Iran's
achievements in boosting the number of university educated young population
In Dialogue among Civilizations, Cultures and Religions, logic of dialogue is of importance, stated President of the International Centre for Dialogue among Civilizations at the inauguration ceremony of the 2-day regional gathering on Dialogue among Civilizations in Bangladesh.
of dialogue is based on understanding and accepting others and accepting
others comes as a result of not thinking all truth is with us”; he added.
prophet (peace be upon him) refers to such concept in holding dialogue with others and the
holy Koran in the chapter of Saba illustrates the logic and conduct of the
prophet of Islam in this regard.
Reacting to US President George W. Bush's provocative speech in which he had blamed Iran and two other countries for spread of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, Iran's artists are to convey messages of friendship and dialogue to 32 nations of the world.
Director general of the cooperation department of the Islamic Culture and Communications Organization Houshang Alimadadi said that the Iranian artists would tell the international community that the Iranians are not afraid of the US President's bellicose remarks.
In last month's annual State of the Union address, Bush declared that his war against terrorism had just started and named Iran, as well as Iraq and North Korea, as an 'axis of evil.'
The cultural events under the title of "Cultural Weeks" are organized in 14 countries, he noted. Some countries like Oman and South Korea have called on Iran to organize cultural events in their territories this year, he added.
third Conference on Islam-Christianity Dialogue will be held in Tehran on
February 6. Religious leaders from the World Council of Churches and the Islamic
figures will take part in the two-day Conference.
The Tehran-based Organization for the Islamic Culture and Communications has sponsored the Conference.
The Conference will study the topics including "Islam
and Christianity and Globalization", "Cultures and
Globalization", "The Universal Ethics and Globalization", and
"Dialogue of Religions and Globalization”.
The preliminary conference on “Outlook of Islam and
Christianity and Peace and Justice” was held in Geneva in 1995.
The ongoing International Seminar on Dialogue among
Civilizations in its second session here on Saturday highlighted the key
role of dialogue among civilizations in expanding economic, tourism and
commercial cooperation among countries.
The participating experts and researchers were all unanimous
that expansion of tourism and consolidation of economic and social relations
among countries is of great importance.
The lecturers in the morning session also discussed such
topics as North-South passage and promotion of tourism, prospect of
Iran-Russia cooperation in the field of tourism, and future of Tehran-Moscow
cooperation in the Caspian Sea.
at a seminar here Sunday underlined the need for dialogue among various
civilizations in efforts to promote greater understanding and peace in the
Co-organized by the Iranian Consulate and the Quaid-i Azam
University here, the seminar on Iran-Pakistan common culture and
civilization was attended by scholars, experts and intellectuals from both
The speakers focused on the countries' commonalities in
culture and civilization, their evolution and role in mutual understanding.
They were all strongly agreed that under the present era,
characterized by unprecedented strides in science and technology that have
brought great progress, the need for dialogue among various civilizations
and cultures has become all the more important.
It is worth noting here that the Iranian and Pakistani
experts cited President Mohammad Khatami's proposal as having laid the
foundation for the UN General Assembly resolution, which named last year
(2001) as "year of dialogue among civilizations.”
Moreover, the Iranian government last year also set up the
International Center for Dialogue.
The scholars also expressed appreciation for President
Khatami's initiative in promoting dialogue among different civilizations in
hopes of achieving peace and amity among peoples of the world.
In a message to seminar participants read out for him,
Iranian Minister for Culture and Islamic Guidance Ahmad Masjed-Jamei said
Iran-Pak friendship and cultural similarities, throughout all phases of
their history, have been a valuable asset for effective cultural dialogue.
"It appears the protagonists of the theory of dialogue
always hoped this (dialogue) would be instrumental in resolving issues
affecting world peace," he remarked.
The minister said he firmly believed a continuing dialogue
among civilizations was crucial in their development, adding that various
cultures and religions also play a key role in this direction.
He expressed his hope that the views expressed at the seminar
would go a long way in paving the road to understanding and fraternity among
the Muslim Ummah," adding: "We all feel the need for this."
(His message was read out for him by Dr. Reza Mustafavi.)
Likewise, the deputy for International relations of the
Islamic Cultural and International Relations Organization (IRICIRO),
Manuchehr Mottaki, praised the great civilizations of Iran and Sindh, saying
these civilizations played a key role in the shaping of world civilizations.
"Both had a great influence, directly or indirectly, on
religious life in Asia, Southeast Asia and Central Asia," the deputy
He further said that results of studies on the civilization
of the Sindh Valley "would lead us to conclude that in Iran and Sindh's
areas of civilizations, trade relations played an important role.
"These very civilizations have so far safeguarded
culture, trade and common fraternity between Iran and its eastern neighbors,
particularly Pakistan," he noted.
A message from Dr. Seyed Ataollah Mohajerani, advisor to
President Khatami and chairman of the International Center for Culture and
Civilizational Dialogue, was also read out by Dr. Reza
Mohajerani, in his message, noted that despite all claims of
progress brought by globalization on the economic and cultural fronts as
well as progress in the fields of science and communication, the world is
still faced with countless problems.
"If today's world failed to find a logical answer to all
these problems, threats, confrontation and animosity would continue,"
The Second International Conference on Cooperation Among Iran
and the Arab World will be held in Tehran on January 23-24, according to an
Iranian foreign ministry statement.
According to the communique, issued by the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS), affiliated to Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, more than one hundred Iranian and Arab intellectuals and political analysts will attend the international event.
The IPIS communique reads in part: "Keeping in mind the pivotal role played by Iran in current world developments and the ancient Iranian civilization's role in blossoming the Islamic civilization, practical interactions have continuously been held among the Iranian and Arab geographical civilizational spheres.”
The communique argues that such interactions, keeping in mind the particular
characteristics of international community today, and the necessities
dictated by the modern world status, have given shape to new formations of
tribal and national movements in the Middle East.
Elsewhere in the IPIS statement it says, "now at the threshold of the
third millennium, when the Islamic world is facing new challenges and
unprecedented hardships due to waves of foreign intellectual, cultural and
political attacks, approaching viewpoints among the Iranian and Arab
thinkers who can seek new joint strategies and find new horizons of
solidarity based on shared peace-seeking policies has become a necessity of
Evaluating the move as "a step taken in the context of Dialogue Among
Civilizations," the communique says, "this step is taken through
promotion of dialogue at Islamic home.”
Iran's International Centre for Dialogue Among Civilizations, the foreign
ministry's PISI, and the Cairo-based Center for Studies Aimed at Unity in
Arab World cosponsor the Second International Conference on Cooperation
Among Iran and the Arab World.
Intellectuals and politicians form such countries as Egypt, Syria, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Yemen, UAE, Sudan and Palestine will exchange viewpoints with each other and Iranian counterparts during the conference.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. George Carey is to sign an
agreement with the Grand Mufti of al-Azhar al-Sharif university in Cairo,
Dr. Mohammed Sayed Tantawy, putting in place a program of dialogue between
Anglicans and Sunni Muslims.
The agreement, which follows several years of negotiations,
sets out the structures for a formal process of debate and details the
principles and expectations on which talks can be based, the
archbishop's office announced Monday.
Dr. Carey said he was delighted to have found so much common ground.
"Deepening dialogue between people of different faiths has never come
at so crucial a time for the world," he said.
The agreement is expected to be signed at Lambeth Palace in
London on January 30. It follows the Archbishop paying two visits to al-Azhar
al-Sharif in 1995 and 1999 and the Grand Sheikh paying a return visit to
Lambeth Palace in 1997.
The text of the agreement makes reference to "our common faith in God
and our responsibility to witness against indifference to religion on the
one hand and religious fanaticism on the other, "while expressing hope
of contributing to "international efforts to achieve justice, peace and
the welfare of all humanity.”
It calls on Anglicans and Muslims to encourage understanding of each other's
religion, to share in solving problems and conflicts and to work together
against injustice and the abuse of human rights among different
Spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians Ecumenical Patriarch
Bartholomew said on Monday that the dialogue of religions is the sole way of
salvation of the human beings since it can contribute tremendously to
settlement of the conflicts among people.
In a joint press conference with Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance
Ahmad Masjed Jamei, he described the results of his Iran visit as
He said during his visit to Iran he aimed to hold talks with the Iranian
officials on the role of religion in bringing about sustainable peace and
stability adding that this aim was achieved.
He said there are common views between Muslims and Christians on the key
role of religion in the lives of human beings and these common views could
help us coexist peacefully.
He was satisfied with the talks he had held with the Iranian authorities on
the important role of religion in today's world saying he had explored ways
of promoting religion's crucial part in establishing global
Bartholomew said putting into practice the views put forward in different
seminars about dialogue between among would lead to useful results in this
Christians believe that speaking is an ability bestowed by
God and a means to communicate with fellow human beings and that knowledge,
arts and human sentiments are being conveyed through dialogue, he noted.
Masjed Jamei said the dialogue of religion is a fact that is reflected in
the artistic and cultural activities. He said an essential agreement is to
be signed in the near future to promote the interconnection between Islam
Masjed Jamei stressed that arts and cultural exchanges contribute to bring
about understanding among religions. He said cooperation in the field of
culture and arts help different religions reach common understanding,
particularly those existing between Islam and Christianity.
Iran has made strides in dialogue of religions by producing
feature films of Jesus Christ (PBUH) and Mary (AS), he said, adding that
Islam and Christianity have diverse grounds for cooperation. Along the
history, the scholars have prepared the grounds for Islam-Christianity
cooperation, he noted.
During his stay in Tehran, Bartholomew conferred with President Mohammad
Khatami who stressed "followers of divine religions should invite
humanity to observe morality."
In the meeting with Bartholomew, the president said the anxiety and stress
from which the humanity is suffering emanate from lack of morality. He
called for heeding the messages of prophets to remove discrimination,
injustice and the threats to civilizations.
Bartholomew said that the world welcomed President Khatami's initiative to
hold dialogue of civilizations adding that his patriarchate supports the
The Istanbul-based Orthodox Christian leader underlined the need to hold
civilizational dialogue and said that all the spiritual and cultural leaders
are expected to cooperate in this respect.
Orthodox Christian Patriarch Bartholomew said on January 12 that dialogue between religions should be translated to practice.
Patriarch Bartholomew said in his address to the 'Seminar on Dialogue
between Islam and Christianity', held at the Foreign Ministry's Institute
for Political and International Studies (IPIS), that putting into practice
the views put forward in different seminars about dialogue between religions
would lead to useful results in this respect.
He pointed to President Mohammad Khatami's initiative on dialogue of
civilizations and said that the archdiocese under his leadership would do
its best to promote the dialogue.
"We think that dialogue and common understanding are God bestowed which
puts an end to prejudice, an obstacle to co-existence," the Christian
Patriarch Bartholomew said Christians believe that speaking is an ability
bestowed by God and a means to communicate with fellow human beings adding
that knowledge, arts and human sentiments are being conveyed through
Imposing ideas on others by force is a futile method, which brings
oppression and terror in the human community and hinders intelligent
judgment, the Leader of Constantinopole (Istanbul) Church said.
He rejected religious prejudice and adherence to outdated thoughts and said
that dialogue should focus on those topics. In this case, it will become
clear the extent to which dialogue has succeeded in clarifying religious
beliefs, he said.
"While, ignorance and distorted information prevail, dialogue provides
the information which is inaccessible," Patriarch Bartholomew said.
He said that the monotheist religions have common grounds and religious
leaders instruct how to remove the weaknesses of the human beings with a
different approach calling for noble sentiments and giving the sense of hope
Prime Minister Tony Blair briefly joined an international seminar hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey on January 17 to emphasize the importance of Christian-Muslim dialogue.
The two-day seminar, attended by nearly 40 Christian and Muslim scholars,
was "not a new departure but a new significance of interfaith
dialogue," Blair told the opening session.
The British premier said that there was a renewed urgency for greater
religious understanding and dialogue in the wake of the events of September
"Knowledge and understanding bring people together rather than set them
apart," he told the gathering of religious scholars at Lambeth Palace,
the London residence of Archbishops of Canterbury for more than 800 years.
Blair emphasized that the work of the seminar, entitled 'Building Bridges -
Overcoming Obstacles in Muslim-Christian relations,' was "really,
really important" and suggested that the dialogue "in time would
become even more important still.”
Scholars attending were from Lebanon, Jordan, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt,
Algeria, Nigeria, Ghana, Bosnia, the US, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and
Britain. Iran was represented by Seyed Amir Akrami from the Organisation for
Islamic Culture and Communication in Tehran.
The Prime Minister's personal support for the dialogue comes at a time when
the Foreign Office is sponsoring a series of goodwill missions to Islamic
countries by British Muslim leaders to boost support for US-led war against terrorism entering its second phase.
In his opening address, the Archbishop of Canterbury described the seminar
as being held in an "historic place for a historic purpose," while
also acknowledging that September 11 had given Christian-Muslim dialogue a
"fresh impetus and focus.”
Over the two-days, he said the scholars of the two faiths would be
discussing the histories of their communities, how they have interacted, of
life in the community, the good society and how it is shaped by religion.
"We shall reflect on the challenges of the modern world and of
questions which we must face in our dialogue," Carey said, adding that
this would "involve listening to one another carefully.”
"We must play our part in trying to ensure that the wider world may
reap the best - not fear the worst - of what our faiths have to offer,"
In an interview with the BBC ahead of the seminar, he urged Christian to
read the Holy Qu'ran. Prince Hassan of Jordan, also addressing the opening session, spoke
of the importance of next
month's meeting between the European Union and
Organisation of the Islamic Conference and expressed hope it would be the
"first chapter" in establishing a cultural parliament.
He also suggested that the United Nations needed a more cultural dimension,
saying that a kind of social council for the world organisation should be
Iranian President Seyed Mohammad Khatami in a message to
participants at the Damascus Conference on How to Proceed with Dialogue
Among Civilizations on January 19 stressed on the world masses' strong
demand for friendship, peace, Justice and Human Rights.
President Khatami has said in the message read by the head of
the International Centre for Dialogue Among Civilizations Dr. Ata'ollah
Mohajerani that such values as peace, justice and human rights will never be
achieved in the absence of freedom and amid war, dictatorships, and
"Even peace, if achieved through war, will always be
unsteady and vulnerable," added the Iranian president.
Elsewhere the message read, "let us take full advantage of convening
the Damascus Conference and the special attention paid by my dear brother
Bashar Assad, the esteemed president of the Arab Republic of Syria in that
Khatami has sincerely thanked the presence of invaluable Muslim
intellectuals at the Damascus conference, adding, "dialogue is an art
and also a science, that has been born along with the mankind, and is always
with man. It has roots in the exalted thoughts of mankind and man's look into eternity, and that is why dialogue has close proximity with different
faiths, particularly with Islam, that benefits from the eternal miracle of
President Khatami has argued that the Islam has not only moved constantly
towards perfection through dialogue among religions and sects throughout
history, but also opened its arms to embrace thoughts that have no
monotheist roots, such as the Greek philosophy, that entered Iran and the Islamic world through Alexandria.
"That is why we can claim that the Islamic philology has, at least
based on a certain interpretation, displayed the lenience that existed among
Muslims towards outsider opinions, and thus, the Islamic philosophy has
emerged as one of the most blossoming and dynamic branches of the global
philosophy," has added Khatami.
The initiator of Dialogue among civilizations has argued, "that is how
the Islamic philosophy proved its efficiency and practical usage in the east
and the west.”
Elsewhere in the message, Khatami has reflected the worries of the present
day man of expansion of the flames of war, terrorism, and discrimination,
when man is passing through one of the most sensitive passages of its
history and welcomed the idea of holding dialogue.
He has evaluated dialogue among various cultures and civilizations as a
means for building up a world worth living, where lasting peace would
prevail and fears of kindling the flames of new wars would ease to exist.
"That is why Dialogue Among Civilizations is not a geographical
necessity today, but a strong demand of the thought circles of the
world," has added the Iranian president.
Khatami has drawn the attention of the world intellectuals to the necessity
to provide convincing answers to the acute questions before mankind, and to
view the world developments the way it is expected of an individual to
"Today we are also witness to enmities expressed and misinterpretations
made about the divine faith of Islam, in a world where distrust prevails,
but such approaches have either historic roots, or have roots in tendencies
aimed at exerting hegemony, or based on that erroneous interpretation of
Islam, that in the name of religion, hypothesizes resorting to aggressive
methods, terrorism and establishment of new dictatorships," has argued
He has expressed sorrow over the situation in Palestine,
which has emerged due to resorting to the above-mentioned undesirable
mentalities, in which the historic and cultural identity of a great nation (the Palestinians) is intended to be totally ignored, and furthermore
sacrificed, arguing that dialogue can prove most efficient in such
President Khatami has ended his message with requesting the participants at
the conference to focus their attention and activities on methods aimed at
safeguarding and harbinger lasting peace, justice and friendship for the
The three-day Damascus Conference on How to Proceed With Dialogue Among Civilizations that opened Saturday night is cosponsored by the International Centre for Dialogue Among Civilizations, Iran's Cultural Attache in Damascus and the Strategic Studies Center of the University of Damascus.
Head of the International Centre for Dialogue among Civilizations (ICDAC) Dr. Ata'ollah Mohajerani conferred on Jan 19 with the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad on issues of mutual interests.
At the meeting, the Syrian president said Dialogue among Civilizations'is
vital for the turbulent world.
Speaking to IRNA after the meeting, Mohajerani said that the Syrian
President who has advocated cultural issues, has called for expansion of
cooperation between the academic and research centers in both countries with
Speaking to IRNA after the meeting, Mohajerani said that the Syrian
President who has advocated cultural issues, has called for expansion of
cooperation between the academic and research centers in both countries with
The two sides studied expansion of cultural and scientific cooperation
between Iran and Syria, said Mohajerani, adding that the Syrian President
underlined the need to expand Tehran-Damascus ties in all fields.
Referring to the need to enhance the analyzing power of intellectuals and
cultural figures in the two countries of the day-to day affairs, President
Assad called for specifying and presenting a clear definition for the
current expressions in the world which are considered as pillars of Dialogue
In separate meetings, Mohajerani conferred with the Syrian
information minister, minister of tourism and culture on issues of mutual
Mohajerani was in Damascus leading a delegation to attend the seminar on
Dialogue among Civilizations.
A meeting on dialogue among civilizations is to be held in Syrian capital Damascus on the last week of January.
The meeting will be inaugurated with messages from the Iranian and Syrian presidents Seyed Mohammad Khatami and Beshar al-Assad, according to Iran's cultural councilor in Syria Mohammad-Ali Azarshib.
He went on to say that today's world is in need of the dialogue while adding
that the achievements of the plan of the dialogue in 2001 would be discussed
in the watershed forthcoming meeting.
If the Muslim world wishes to play a key and active part under the current
sensitive circumstances on the international scene, it has to promote its
messages through dialogue program.
Scholars and officials from Iran, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Algeria,
Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Spain are to take part in this significant event.
The idea of dialogue among civilizations, championed by President Khatami,
has received wide welcome by the international community.
Experts around the world share the opinion that President Khatami has
tremendously contributed to the illustration of Iran's image on the
international stage by launching the idea of dialogue amongst the
civilizations, which has been widely welcomed by the international
In a ground-breaking U.N. General Assembly session a few months ago,
President Khatami declared his attitudes and stands vis-a-vis the major
global issues in particular the idea of dialogue amongst civilizations.
In order to live peaceful lives and have hope for a brighter future, the
human beings across the globe need to rely on politicians with broader
horizons of thought that favor global cooperation aimed at safeguarding peace and dialogue, rather than war and bloodshed, said the president.
He expressed hope that the world politicians and influential authorities
would abide by his proposal in this regard so that they could collectively
seek for a way out of the rising threat of clash among civilizations.
He said it is time for the world nations to review the history of aggression and discriminating measures and to seek for methods to seek introduction of logical approaches initiated by the elites of various cultures so that the world masses would become familiar with the culture of dialogue, to learn more, and to realize that the art of hearing is a sacred art.
The Three-day Damascus conference on "How to Proceed With Dialogue Among Civilizations" wrapped up its activities Monday, appreciating Iran's President Seyed Mohammad Khatami for
initiating the issue and for his paying special attention to the Damascus event.
The intellectuals and cultural figures participating at the event also
issued a six-article communique in which they have proposed the
establishment of an Arabic-Islamic center, equipped with an Internet website
to ensure proceeding with the Dialogue Among Civilizations.
They have expressed hope that real dialogue, relying on the experience
gained so far on the issue, will take shape in the near future.
Stressing on the point that proceeding with Dialogue Among Civilizations is
not a task to be shouldered merely by the governments, that cannot even do
it if they wished so, the conference as sought the cooperation of NGOs,
particularly the Organization of Islamic Conference and the Arab League in
Supporting and promotion of research and studies centers that have been
active in the field of promoting Dialogue Among Civilizations and providing
paths for fruitful interactions among them is another issue addressed in the
final communique of the Damascus Conference.
The communique encourages the Islamic states to leave behind the enmities
and differences as a definite prerequisite for starting meaningful dialogue
with members of their own civilization, as well as the other religions and
All type of terrorism are denounced in the communique and any type of
relationship between that malicious phenomenon with religions or ethnic
communities is severely denied, while the need to differentiate between
terrorism and righteous defense against oppression is recognized in the communiqué.
Both the superiority of any civilization over any other, and the hypothesis
that new civilizations are born due to clash among old civilizations are
denied and condemned in the communique and the need to establish meaningful
dialogue aimed at achieving peace and prosperity for the whole mankind is
While praising such mutually respected values among all nations and
civilizations as calling towards observance of justice respecting the human
rights, pursuing freedom and the right to live by own cultural and religious
norms, the communique has condemned all types of dictatorship, including in
national or global level.
Continuation of resistance against the Zionists' policies in the region,
that have become a true obstacle in the way of all types of dialogue is
sought in the communiqué.
The participants in Damascus conference have proposed that the foreign works
on Dialogue Among Civilizations should be translated into both Persian and
Arabic languages and the best of them, that have played decisive roles in
promotion of the idea, to be awarded.
The three-day Damascus Conference on "How to Proceed with Dialogue
Among Civilizations" had resumed activities on Saturday night Jan 19
with messages by President Khatami and Iran's Minister of Culture and
Islamic Guidance Ahmad Masjed-Jame'ie at Assad National Library of Damascus.
The Damascus Conference was cosponsored by the Tehran-based International
Center for Promotion of Dialogue Among Civilizations, Iran's Cultural
Attache to Damascus, and the Center for Strategic Studies of the University
Intellectuals, experts and thought leaders from Iran, Syria, Egypt, Morocco,
Lebanon, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Spin gave lecture and presented papers at
the conference, that made it among the culturally richest events of its
Minister of Culture underlines role of religion in today's world, Damascus, Jan 20, 2002
Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ahmad Masjed Jamei said on January 19 that religion and culture have been playing a key part in creation and promotion of civilizations in the human societies.
In a message read out by Iran's cultural councilor in Syria, Mohammad-Ali
Azarshib to the Meeting on the Dialogue among Civilizations held in Syrian
capital Damascus, the minister said the dialogue could contribute to the
peace and calmness in all areas.
The dialogue should not be reduced to the political discussions since it can
play a key role in all domains, the minister said in his message.
He said the dialogue was a necessity in today's world. He hoped that the
dialogue among the elite and scholars in the spheres of culture and religion
would consolidate the solidarity in the Muslim world.
The meeting on the dialogue among civilizations was inaugurated in Syrian
capital Damascus on Wednesday, with messages from the Iranian and Syrian
presidents Seyed Mohammad Khatami and Bashar al-Assad.
The three-day gathering is convened under the auspices of Iran's
international Center for Dialogue Among Civilizations and Syrian Center for
Scholars and officials from Iran, Syria, Egypt, Morocco,
Lebanon, Algeria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Spain are taking part in the
A message on part of the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Masjed
Jamei was followed by speeches by Syrian ministers of tourism and culture.
The idea of dialogue among civilizations, championed by President Khatami,
has received wide welcome by the international community.
Iran's Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Ahmad Masjed Jamei, conferring with Bulgarian Minister of Education and Science Vladimir Anastazov here on Saturday, recalled that art is a
proper means of dialogue, which needs no translation.
Referring to the variety of joint fields of cooperation
between Bulgaria and the Islamic Republic of Iran, he stressed the existence
of strong political will for the expansion of the existing mutual ties.
Pointing to the upcoming many-fold Fajr festivals including
film, theater and music festivals to be held during the ten-day Fajr period,
he recalled that the participation of Bulgaria in the upcoming events will be quite effective in promotion of mutual cultural-artistic ties.
He also said that celebrating artistic weeks is considered as a positive
step taken towards introduction of the culture and civilization of both
countries to one another.
He further called upon Bulgaria's Minister of Education and Science to
arrange artistic programs for the upcoming Fajr festival with the
participation of prominent Bulgarian artists.
He recalled that cultural heritage might be another field of mutual
cooperation between the two countries considering Iran's ancient cultural
heritage and civilization as well as its expertise on the maintenance, restoration and expansion of its heritage.
Anastazov extended his thanks to the Iranian minister for the warm welcome
and hospitality of Iranians and hoped that his visit will contribute to
strengthening of Iran-Bulgaria's mutual ties.
Iranian presidential advisor in cultural affairs and head of the International
Centre for Dialogue Among Civilizations Dr. Ataollah Mohajerani on his visit to Syria to attend a conference on dialogue among
civilizations underlined the need to expand ties among Iran-Syria's universities.
In a meeting with the chancellor of the Damascus University, Hani Morteza on
January 20, Mohajerani discussed various fields of mutual cooperation
including cultural, scientific and research with the Syrian official. The
two parties also discussed ways of continuing the process of 'dialogue among
The expansion of cooperation between Damascus University and centers of
higher education in Iran in various fields specially the exchange of
scientific and research data as well as scholars and students on the basis
of the agreement reached between the two countries were also among the issues discussed.
Hani Morteza, referring to Iran-Syria's significant
historical relations and his country's readiness to cooperate in cultural,
scientific and scholastic fields, said such cooperation could contribute to
further strengthening the currently close ties between the two countries.
Expressing his satisfaction over his recent visit to Iran, he hoped that a
number of chancellors of Iranian universities would accept his invitation to
visit Syria, especially Damascus University.
Mohajerani declared the readiness of Iranian universities for further
cooperation with Syrian universities specially Damascus University in
various scientific fields, the support of Iran's government for the
agreements signed between the universities and higher educational institutes
in both countries.
According to Syria's Higher
Education Minister, Hassan Rishah, who recently visited Iran at the invitation of his Iranian counterpart, Mostafa Moin, to discuss scientific
and educational issues and the ways of expanding mutual ties; currently 50
Syrian students are studying in Iran using Syrian state scholarships and 100
students are studying at their own expense.
Prominent scholars of the Muslim world discussed effective ways of promoting the dialogue of civilizations as a mean to defuse tensions in today's world.
Palestinian Professor Ahmad Borqavi said efforts should be made to narrow
the gap between the peoples around the world while adding that the dialogue
idea could be very fruitful in this domain.
He said the West has created some problems and divisions among nations in
the past, adding that most of the wars erupted so far proceeds from the
West's expansionist policies and the conflict between Israel, which enjoys
Western support, and Arab and Muslim countries is an example of this. Iranian Professor Ramazan Shabani said the tolerance is a basic principle in
the dialogue language.
Iranian Professor Ramazan Shabani said the tolerance is a basic principle in
the dialogue language.
The meeting on the dialogue among civilizations was inaugurated in Syrian
capital Damascus on Jan 19 with messages from the Iranian and Syrian
presidents Seyed Mohammad Khatami and Beshar al-Assad.
The three-day gathering was convened under the auspices of
Iran's International Centre for Dialogue Among Civilizations and Syrian
Center for Strategic Studies.
Commenting on the dialogue issue, Iran's cultural councilor in Syria
Mohammad-Ali Azarshib said that today's world is in need of dialogue.
If the Muslim world wishes to play a key and active part under the current
sensitive circumstances on the international scene, it has to promote its
messages through dialogue program, he added.
Scholars and officials from Iran, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Algeria,
Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Spain took part in the ground-breaking event.
A message on part of the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Masjed
Jamei was also read out in the meeting while ministers of tourism and
culture of Syria addressed the audience.
The idea of dialogue among civilizations, championed by President Khatami,
has received wide welcome by the international community.
Experts around the world share the opinion that President Khatami has tremendously contributed to the illustration of Iran's image on the international stage by launching the idea of dialogue amongst the civilizations, which has been widely welcomed by the international community.
Head of the Tehran-based International Centre for Dialogue Among Civilizations Dr. Ataollah Mohajerani in Damascus held separate talks with three Syrian ministers on dialogue of civilizations
on Jan 19.
Mohajerani discussed the mutual issues on topic with Syrian Minister of
Information Adnan Omran, Minister of Culture Ms. Najwi Qessab Hassan and
Minister of Tourism Saadullah Agha al-Qala.
Heading an Iranian delegation, Mohajerani was on a visit to Syria to take
part in a Conference on "Civilizational Dialogue.”
In his meeting with Omran, Mohajerani said that Islam has been exposed to
threat by the enemies. They are exploiting the current events to conspire
against Islam and tarnish its image, he said.
Mohajerani said that certain people like Bin Laden are helping the enemies
with their plots, adding that the enemies are seeking to ignore the
achievements of Islam and the great Islamic civilization and they are making
every effort to strike a blow to the Islamic resistance in order to
undermine Islam's defensive capability.
Omran said that Muslims should focus on common religious and political
grounds and foster solidarity to deal with the enemies.
He said that the conferences which are not being followed up seriously has
dealt a blow to the Muslims so that others do not heed the demands of the
The Syrian information minister criticized the western countries and the
United States for terming Palestinians suicide operations as acts of
terrorism, while, they themselves practiced such actions proudly in the
Second World War, but, they denounce it when the Palestinians have risen to
resist occupation of their territories, Omran said.
Omran called on the Islamic states to launch television and news networks to
introduce the real face of Islam.
The Syrian tourism minister in a separate meeting with Mohajerani called for
developing tourism cooperation among the Islamic states.
Mohajerani underlined the importance of tourism in cultural exchanges and
civilizational dialogue and regretted that the Islamic states have small
part in the dlrs 540 billion annual revenues of tourism worldwide and called
for due attention to tourism.
Meanwhile, the Syrian culture minister welcomed holding a conference on
dialogue of civilization in Syria and hoped that the conference would serve
to convey the message of Islam to other religions and cultures.
Mohajerani explained the activities of the International Centre for Dialogue
of Civilizations, and said that the Centre follows up the dialogue in three
civilizations, cultural and religious fields.
Mohajerani said that Islam has been exposed to threat by the western states
and the United States and for this reason all Muslim states should shoulder
their heavy duty in this respect.
He said that following the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United
States the Islamic states should embark on clarifying the Islamic culture.
President Mohammad Khatami said on Saturday evening that Iran seeks peace based on justice and opposes terrorists and terrorist acts anywhere in the world.
President Khatami told the British Prime Minister Tony Blair on the phone that peace and stability would not be restored in Afghanistan unless the people can have a say in determining their own fate.
He said the Islamic Republic of Iran supports the interim government of Afghanistan and would spare no effort in cooperating with the administration within the framework of the international regulations with the objective of promoting that country's affairs.
Iran-Afghan border is completely sealed off, borders are fully controlled and nobody, not even the terrorist groups, would be allowed to cross them, added the President.
Khatami said the world should take lessons from the September 11 flow of events, set aside ambiguous approaches towards terrorism, and uproot the 'ugly' phenomenon with its agents and their bases.
Elsewhere in his remarks, President Khatami expressed disgust at Israel's suppressive measures and called the Middle East a 'critical' spot.
He said there would be no fundamental solution to the Middle East problem unless the denied rights of the oppressed Palestinian nation and interests of all the residents of the land are met.
He called as 'positive' the tone of westerners towards Palestinians after the September 11 incident and said Israel, not being happy with the trend, is making attempts to change the scene.
He expressed hope that others would not fall into the whirlpool created by the Zionist extremists.
Iran's chief executive underlined the need to expand Tehran-London ties and expressed hope that bilateral cooperation would further expand in light of mutual respect.
Blair, stressing dialogue between the West and the world of Islam expressed hope that offsetting the Middle East problem has been put as a long-term project in the West's agenda.
The British government Tuesday played down reports of an alleged dispute with Iran over the appointment of a new ambassador to Tehran to replace Nick Browne, saying 'an announcement will be made in due course'.
An official spokesman told IRNA that the Foreign Office had 'nominated a successor' for the Tehran post and that it was 'awaiting approval from Iran'.
Reports have suggested that David Reddaway, who has served in Tehran, twice previously, was nominated for the post but that his appointment was being blocked by Iran.
Minister of Culture and the Islamic Guidance Ahmad Masjed Jamei said in a meeting with Orthodox Church leader Patriarch Bartholomew on Sunday that arts and cultural exchanges help bring about understanding among religions.
He said that cooperation in the field of culture and arts help different religions reach common understanding, particularly those existing between Islam and Christianity.
Masjed Jamei said that the Islamic Republic of Iran has made strides in dialogue of religions by producing feature films of Jesus Christ (PBUH) and Mary (AS).
"Every great civilization has roots in religion, therefore due attention should be paid to dialogue of religions in promoting civilizational dialogue," Masjed Jamei said.
He said that Islam and Christianity have diverse grounds for cooperation. During the course of the history, the scholars have prepared the grounds for Islam-Christianity cooperation.
Masjed Jamei said that there are many churches in Iran that have valuable cultural and artistic heritage providing common grounds for cooperation.
The Istanbul-based Orthodox Church leader appreciated the warm welcome the Iranians accorded to him and called for taking practical steps to promote dialogue of religions.
The Christian leader agreed to the establishment of a joint committee to follow up the accords with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
President Mohammad Khatami said in a meeting with Orthodox Christian Leader Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Sunday that followers of divine religions should invite humanity to observe morality.
The president said that the anxiety and stress from which the humanity is suffering emanate from lack of morality, and called for heeding the messages of prophets to remove discrimination, injustice and the threats to civilizations.
President Khatami said that followers of divine religions should help deal with the threats to humanity with putting in place the religious values in the process of civilizations.
He called for dialogue among religions and building a world full of love and affection and saving people from poverty, oppression and discrimination.
Patriarch Bartholomew said that the world welcomed President Khatami's initiative to hold Dialogue of Civilizations, adding that the Constantinople Church has initiated efforts to hold civilizational dialogue by taking part in dialogue of religions.
The Orthodox Christian leader cited the holy books calling for co-existence of human beings and called for dialogue and brotherly relations among different nations to promote peace and progress in the human community.
The Istanbul-based Orthodox Christian leader underlined the need to hold civilizational dialogue and said that all the spiritual and cultural leaders are expected to cooperate in this respect.
The Archbishop of Constantinople Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew arrived in Tehran for talks with the Iranian officials and was welcomed at Mehrabad International Airport by Iran's Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ahmad Masjed Jamei.
Archbishop Bartholomew is visiting Iran at the invitation of Iranian culture minister. He told reporters that he is to hold talks with the Iranian authorities on the dialogue between Islam and Christianity during his visit.
Following the September 11 attacks in the United States, it became more essential to go ahead with the dialogue on Islam-Christianity, added Archbishop Bartholomew.
People could settle their differences through dialogue, said the Archbishop adding that dialogue is a positive move towards creating a world free from tension and dominated by peace.
The Archbishop expressed great pleasure at the opportunity to visit Iran.
He is to deliver a lecture at the Institute for the Political and International Studies (IPIS) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the theme of "Contribution of religion to the establishment of peace in the modern world."
The Archbishop and the members of his delegation are also to visit the Iranian organizations responsible for the inter-religious dialogue in order to exchange ideas and proposals for the dialogue between the Orthodox Church and Islam.
Such contacts and initiatives should be encouraged in order to promote cooperation among the monotheistic religions as was also decided recently at the Interfaith Conference on “Peace of God in the World” that took place in Brussels- December 19-20 2001- under the auspices of Archbishop Bartholomew and President of the European Commission Romano Prodi.
The international conference titled 'Dialogue among Civilizations, its historical background and the 21st Century's perspective' is slated for February 1-2 at Russia's University of” Nations Friendship”.
The conference was organized jointly by cultural section of the Iranian Embassy, United Nations Information Center (UNIC) as well as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Moscow with multidimensional objectives including the protection and honoring of the great diversity in man's culture and thought.
Deeper understanding, the joint values of humanity for solving today's issues, encouraging and defending human freedom and respecting one another's various cultural heritages are among the declared objectives of the conference.
The participants are due to submit their articles to the upcoming scientific conference on various issues including 'Dialogue among Civilizations, outlook and performance', 'The historical background of Iran-Russia's Dialogue on Civilization' and 'The Way Leading to a Multi-polar World based on Dialogue among Civilizations'.
Head of Iran's Centre for Dialogue Among Civilizations Ataollah Mohajerani said on Saturday that development necessitates identifying international rules as well as following those rules.
Speaking at a seminar on `Tourists Attraction in Sistan-Baluchestan Province', he said acceptance of international rules should not be taken as neglecting ones identity.
“We cannot seek to participate in world cup football but refuse to accept the rules of the game,'' he said.
Referring to the recent comments made by President Mohammad Khatami to university students on attaining a six-percent economic growth rate, he pointed out that such a target is very difficult to attain.
“One of the most important mechanisms for economic development is tourism”, he said, adding: “this calls for investment in the sector.”
Expressing satisfaction over the increase in the state budget allocated to tourism next year he said:” The annual expenditure of Egypt and Malaysia on promoting tourism stand at over one million dollars.”
Development of the tourism industry can help create more employment opportunities in the country, he underlined.
Iran had been one of the world powers for about 1,000 years, he said, adding that the country had influenced world history for about 100 years.
It was announced on Thursday that a representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran is planning to participate in the world prayer for peace ceremonies that will be held in Assisi, Italy on January 26.
Iranian Ambassador to the Vatican, in a meeting with Cardinal Francis Arineze, the head of the Papal Council for dialogue among religions, announced Iran's readiness to participate in the ceremonies.
Iran, Mr. Boroujerdi said, is always prepared to take part in any function for promoting dialogue among world religions.
He added that understanding among different religions and civilizations is the cultural priority of Tehran in line with the country's commitment to the idea of 'dialogue among civilizations'-- a brainchild of President Mohammad Khatami-- which was announced as an international theme in 2001 by the United Nations.
The Vatican in Assisi holds the world prayer for peace upon an invitation of Pope John Paul II from the world religious leaders.
Cardinal Arineze described the results of the third summit between Islam and Catholicism that was held in Tehran last summer as very fruitful, saying it could open wider horizons for more understanding in future meetings.
The fourth forum on international dialogue between Islam and Catholicism will be held in Rome in 2003 under the sponsorship of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Vatican.
The Head of the Centre for Dialogue among Civilizations, Seyyed Ataollah Mohajerani said on Friday that the idea of Dialogue Among Civilizations and the viewpoints of President Seyyed Mohammad Khatami have been highly effective in rebuilding Iran's global image.
In an exclusive interview with IRNA, Dr Mohajerani pointed out that the Centre had favorably used discussions on dialogue among civilizations on the international level and the idea has received warm global welcome.
He said that in the year 2001 different conferences were held on the occasion of dialogue among civilizations worldwide and in November the UN organized a two-day meeting on the occasion, where representatives of the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan presented their report on the issue to the participants.
He added that glowing welcome were accorded worldwide to Iran and President Khatami in person, as the initiator of the idea.
The ex-minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance said certain political parties, being a critic to government, and some segment of the press affiliated to them, have not been pleased with discussions on Dialogue Among Civilizations perhaps believing that paying attention to the issue and expressing a positive attitude towards it would further strengthen President Khatami’s stands, which they have kept opposing so severely during the past six years.
He said there are even certain people in this country that think of Dialogue Among Civilizations as an arrogant and imperialistic policy "fanned by us!"
In fact, national interests sometimes change positions with political gains, he added.
Mohajerani assimilated opponents of Dialogue Among civilizations inside the country to those believing in clash of Civilizations, previously hypothesized by the American political thinker Samuel Huntington.
He said the abovementioned groups follow methods leading to clashes among civilizations in order to raise their names and viewpoints worldwide.
"Dialogue Among Civilizations and religions needs a clear, calm, moderate and logical atmosphere," said Mohajerani adding that naturally, under the ongoing atmosphere and with the way the press was and is dealt with in Iran, and amid the tense atmosphere that has created socio-political tension and has blocked the way for any type of dialogue in Iran, paying attention to Dialogue Among Civilizations and cultures would be restricted to certain areas and limited extents.
should admit that not all realities are with us," he said, adding that
if one thinks that he is in possession of all the realities, this means that
one has not recognized the other party and does not intend to have
meaningful talks with others.
President Mohammad Khatami received the Yugoslav Foreign
Minister Goran Svilanovic on December 26.
Referring to Iran and Yugoslavia as the two important states in the strategic Middle East and Balkan regions, Khatami expressed hope that Svilanovic's visit to Tehran will open a new chapter in the two country's ties.
He expressed satisfaction with the democratic process in Yugoslavia and referred to the important role and status of that country in the international system, especially in regard to establishment of peace and stability in the Balkans.
"I hope Yugoslavia can achieve its real status in the international arena through the efforts made by the president and civilized youth of that country," said the president adding that the two countries can cooperate in scientific, economic, political and cultural fields and be the vanguards of peace in the two sensitive regions of the world.
He referred to different ethnics and religions in Yugoslavia, adding that the Balkan state as a link between East and West can play a key role in promoting the issue of dialogue among civilizations.
Censuring some big powers' policies on international events such as the incidents occurred in Yugoslavia and Afghanistan, Khatami slammed the policies that can trigger a clash of civilizations.
Calling dialogue among civilizations as necessary for establishment of peace in today's world, the Iranian president lamented evil acts such as terrorism, attacks on Muslim Palestinians and carnage in the war-ravaged Afghanistan in the Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations.
For his part, the foreign minister conveying the Yugoslav president's warm greeting to Khatami said that his country follows Iran's reform policies and has welcomed the idea of mutual understanding between the nations proposed by Iran in the United Nations.
The one-day conference on dialogue among civilizations was
held in the Cuban capital Havana on December 21, attending a number of Cuban
political, scientific and cultural figures.
At the conference, arranged jointly by Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cuba's National Parliament and the Iranian Embassy in Havana, tribute was paid to President Mohammad Khatami as the initiator of the lofty idea of inter-civilizational dialogue.
Addressing the conference, a Cuban communist leaders, Armando Art, referred to President Khatami's proposal and the designation of 2001 by the UN as the Year of 'Dialogue Among Civilization' as a worthwhile idea.
He noted that hostility and antagonism account for the numerous crimes committed in the world and referred to the September 11 terrorist attacks on Washington and New York and the subsequent US bombing of Afghanistan as examples of such hostilities.
Art added, "The recent events reflect the barbarities in both civilized and uncivilized communities.”
He went on to condemn the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington which were followed by assaults on Afghanistan.
At the conference, Iran's envoy to Havana, Davoud Salehi said that Islam attaches utmost importance to listening to others views and holding dialogue.
He said, "The habit of holding dialogue contributes to
strengthening the bases of freedom, justice, human rights and civility both
at the national and international levels.”
Concurrent with the conference, a photography exhibition on
Iran's culture and civilization was held at Cuba's Institute of
At the conference, handouts in English and Spanish prepared by the Iranian Embassy in Havana on 'dialogue among civilization' were distributed among participants.
The Second International
Children's and Young Adults Exhibition on “Dialogue among Civilizations - Silk Road”, opened at the Artistic Creativity Center from December 23,
organized by the Center for Intellectual Development for Children and Young
The Managing Director of the Center for Intellectual Development for Children and Young Adults Mohsen Chiniforoushan said that the exhibition sought to establish cultural relations with other nations.
He added, "The exhibition was not intended just for viewing the works on display. It was rather a center for the exchange of culture and research findings, which should be put to proper use by researchers and students."
Referring to this year's exhibition as rich in content and full of variety, compared to last year's, he said, "We won't succeed in establishing relations with others, so long as we don't introduce our history to our children.”
Iranian and Sri Lankan
children and young adults won the majority of the medals awarded at the closing ceremony of the exhibition. Among the 350 selected paintings, judged
on the jury's vote, Iranian children ranked first by bagging the highest
number of awards including eight gold, 13 silver and 32 bronze medals.
Also Sri Lankan children who were awarded six gold, 22 silver and 42 bronze medals, ranked second.
Bangladeshi and Ukrainian children were placed third and fourth by winning 36 and 31 medals respectively.
Swedish and Georgian children who received one bronze medal each stood at the bottom of the awards table.
According to the center's director for international affairs, Mansour Kadivar among the 3,500 entries received by the exposition's secretariat from 24 countries, the paintings of 1,250 children and young adults went on display at the exhibition. Some 24 countries took part in the exhibition.
the occasion of the Year of Dialogue among Civilizations aimed at promotion
of cultural activities, two Iranian films, Mohsen Makhmalbaf's 'A Journey to
Kandahar' and Kamal Tabrizi's 'Maternal Love' were screened at the
auditorium of the United Nations General Assembly in Geneva.
The films were viewed by hundreds of cultural and artistic authorities, film and art critics, journalists, media men, diplomats and UN officials.
Director-General of the UN Headquarters in Geneva, Vladimir Petrovsky, addressing the spectators attending Iran's cinematic festival (December 10-14), elaborated on the cultural and political aspects of President Khatami's initiative of dialogue among civilizations at the conclusion of the screening of the two Iranian movies.
He also praised the positive effects of cultural activities in this respect which have been aimed at providing peace, international cooperation, more understanding between nations on one another's culture and traditions.
The festival has been sponsored jointly by the UN cultural committee and the Islamic Republic of Iran's permanent representative office in Geneva.
The UN cultural committee is one of the most active bodies among the international institutions, which was quite active in the past year in introducing the cultures and artistic capabilities of various countries.
Iran joined the cultural committee of the UN European office last year.
of the Assembly for Proximity of Islamic Sects Ayatollah Mohammad Ali
Taskhiri said that Islam is the religion of dialogue, logic and cooperation.
While visiting the Ninth International Exhibit of Holy Quran underway in Tehran, Ayatollah Taskhiri said that the message of the exhibit would reach the Muslims worldwide and expressed hope for larger exhibits of holy Quran to be held in cooperation with other Muslim nations.
He noted that Islam advocates dialogue and understanding with followers of other divine religions and the Islamic Republic of Iran is well prepared to initiate dialogue among religions.
Ayatollah Taskhiri said that essays from Egypt, Russia and Sudan were sent to the first international session on “Dialogue in Holy Quran”, which was held on the occasion of the year of Dialogue among Civilizations, on the sidelines of the Ninth International Exhibit of Holy Quran. Twenty scientific gatherings were also held as well as 10 nights of festivities for the foreign guests.
Mr. Majed Ahmad Al-Zafiri, the new Kuwaiti
ambassador to Iran met with Dr. Ataollah Mohajerani, President of the
International Centre for Dialogue among Civilizations and advisor to the
President on Nov. 20, 2001
reality we are faced with is that we (the Islamic and regional countries) do
not have a clear picture of one another and this can be conducive to a
misunderstanding which in itself can turn in to a crisis”, stated Dr.
Mohajerani, emphasizing on the need for the establishment of closer cultural
and social ties among the Islamic and regional countries.
to the misunderstanding of the government of Iraq toward Iran and the
ensuing destructive war in the 1980s, as well as Iraq’s misunderstanding
towards Kuwait and the region and Iraq-Kuwait conflict in the 1990s, he
added:” Our responsibility is to prepare the groundwork for the
consolidating the ties among countries through Dialogue among
dubbed the role of Kuwaiti ambassador in promoting Iran-Kuwait ties in
recent years as essential and said that the responsibility of ambassadors
include organizing and architecting their countries’ ties with other
Kuwaiti officials’ best regards to Dr. Mohajerani, the Kuwaiti ambassador
called Islam a “civilized religion”, adding:” Islam prepares the basis
for dialogue and the first step towards dialogue is a common ground."
to the two countries common interests such as enjoying democracy, freedom
and cultural promotion, Mr. Al-zarifi expressed hope that in the course of
his mission to Iran he would be able to shed further light on the concept of
Dialogue among Civilizations.
A 20-member delegation consisting of some 20
Christian ladies met with the President of the International Centre for
Dialogue among Civilizations and Presidential Advisor Dr. Mohajerani on Nov.
During their visit, which occurred at the
initiative of Dr. Lee for the purpose of getting acquainted with Iran,
members of the delegation announced that they would introduce Iran to the 12
million devoted Christians in their country as a Holy land and cradle of
various religions, prophets and saints.
They also called Iran “ Land of faith and
compassion ” and expressed their willingness for the establishment of a
non-profit foundation for the proximity of the two religious communities.
Dr. Ataollah Mohajerani noted that one of the
objectives of ICDAC is an effort directed toward the proximity of religions,
adding that Iran has always been and will be a house of worship for
“ICDAC’s department of religion is
conducting researches on divine religions such as Christianity, and we call
on other Christian personalities to travel to Iran for delivering lectures
and taking part in ICDAC’s gatherings and conferences.” He further
In response to the delegation’s request to
be deemed as Korean cultural ambassadors, Dr. Mohajerani said:” Those who
choose the spiritual life will forever be the ambassadors of culture and
At the end of the meeting Mr. Mohajerani said:” Muslims in Iran have always enjoyed a close relationship with the Christians in their daily life, and at the present the Christians have 3 representatives at the parliament. These all signal the positive relationship that exists between the Muslims and Christians in Iran.”
According to a
press release by the Office of Communications of the World Council of
Churches, an informal meeting between World Council of Churches (WCC) staff
and about 30 local Christian and Muslim leaders will consider the
educational use in the local context of a recent WCC publication Striving
Together in Dialogue: A Muslim-Christian Call to Reflection and Action.
A second meeting
will focus on how Arab Christians and Muslims see the Arab world as such,
and in relation to other countries and cultures, after September 11. The
meeting, "Relations between Nations, Cultures and Religious Communities
Today: A Perspective from the Arab World", is being sponsored by the
Arab Group on Christian-Muslim Dialogue. This group works with the Middle
East Council of Churches (MECC) and the WCC. The meeting will involve about
The MECC and WCC
will then facilitate a discussion with approximately 25 scholars and leaders
engaged in Christian-Muslim dialogue from the Middle East, United States,
United Kingdom and Pakistan. This meeting will attempt to assess
Christian-Muslim relations, local and global, after September 11. The
meeting is expected to make suggestions for the future agenda of those
engaged in Christian-Muslim dialogue.
Tarek Mitri, staff
member in the WCC team for Inter-Religious Relations and Dialogue, says that
the main question will be: "How much do we want the issues raised from
September 11 to determine our agenda in the future? For instance, should we
put the priority on looking at violence, and if so, how should we approach
it to engage in a real dialogue between the faiths?”
In his Angelus message of 18 November, His Holiness Pope John Paul II has called for fasting and prayer on 14 December “to pray fervently to God to grant to the world stable peace based on justice, and make it possible to find adequate solutions to the many conflicts that trouble the world. May what is saved by fasting be put at the disposal of the poor, especially those who at present suffer the consequences of terrorism and war. “He also announced his intention to invite the representatives of the world religions to come to Assisi on 24 January 2002 to pray for the overcoming of opposition and the promotion of authentic peace. “In particular, we wish to bring Christians and Muslims together to proclaim to the world that religion must never be a reason for conflict, hatred and violence. In this historic moment, humanity needs to see gestures of peace and hear words of peace.”
Euromed Youth programme, to encourage dialogue among civilizations,
Nov 30, 2001
The European Commission has adopted the Euromed Youth II programme, to run for the next three
years (2002-2004), with a budget increase of 40% over Euromed Youth I (1999-2001).
This programme of exchanges, voluntary work and training activities is aimed at the young people of the EU Member States and of the countries of the Mediterranean basin (Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and Israel.)
''In adopting Euromed Youth II the Commission has made a first step towards encouraging dialogue between our civilizations,'' stated Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Education and Culture.
The Euromed Youth programme allows exchanges to be made and projects undertaken between young persons in 27 Euro-Mediterranean partner countries, promoting mutual knowledge and understanding, the integration of young persons and the strengthening of civil society.
Euromed Youth I (1999-2001) provided support for more than 200 projects, with more than 3000 young participants. There was an even balance, with 52% of the participants coming from the EU countries and 48% from the Southern Mediterranean countries, noted a EU press release.
The role of religion is to unite individuals and not to destroy humanity at large, said the Indian scholar Prof. Akhtarul Wasey.
the Iranian initiative on dialogue among Civilization, Prof. Wasey, Director
of Zakir Hussain Institute of Islamic Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia
University, New Delhi said that it is a pragmatic policy of President
Khatami and should be taken seriously to save the world from the malaise of
Iranian President's reiteration comes at a time when the world is laden with
tension and suffocation, he said, adding that Islam believes in
Wahdat-e-Ilaha (Unity of Allah) and Wahdat-e-Adam (Unity of man) and there
is no scope for oppression in the world.
bringing about world peace, Wasey said the role religion can play should be
based on dialogue. The basic level at which religion works is that it build
a unity and bond among people.
Indian Professor said that the verses in Sura Al Kafirun, Quran made it
clear that there is no compulsion in the religion and the existence of clash
has no place in Islam.
said: “The essential principle of Islam is dialogue, and it recognizes
other religions (Ahle Kitab). The Quran says (le Qulle Qaumin Hajj) that
they have their own pilgrimage places. Allah said that in all communities we
have sent our messengers for peace.”
each and every religion in the world is not inclined to dilute its teachings
and culture, then there should be a common minimum programme based on
dialogue for the survival and benefit of mankind and the universe, he said.
firmly asserted that there is no place of terror, war, suppression and
repression in religion and for him there should be a just order symbolizing
and representing the real spirit of religion.
World is a global village and the world community is inseparable, and thus,
dialogue is the only solution to resolve the problems amid chaos, he
India's prominent Islamic scholar and President of the Islamic Center
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan said religion alone could truly establish a society
based on peace and spirituality.
the Iranian President Mohammad Khatami's initiative on dialogue among
civilizations, Wahiduddin Khan said that only through peaceful dialogue
confrontation can be checked from escalating into violence, and religion is
able to provide a complete ideology toward this noble cause.
out the difference between debate and dialogue, Wahiduddin noted that debate
is nothing but wrestling with words, while dialogue is a healthy activity
which is essential in every situation as it is a continuous process.
religion and peace, he said that the teachings of religion are directly or
indirectly related to peace. It is natural that all religions based on
belief in God should give proper importance to the concept of peace and
dialogue. One of Allah's attributes is peace. Violence creeps into religion
when peace is misused.
said war and terror have no direct relationship with religion and the
element of violence comes only when the religion is divested of its spirit.
He asserted that religion sanctions only peaceful method and violence has
nothing to do with religion.
the inter-connection between people has greatly increased in the recent
times, he said dialogue is certainly desirable between civilizations and the
need for it is being felt today more than ever, both from the point of view
of spirituality as well as material interest.
the view from some quarters on the Clash of Civilizations, he said it is
peaceful exchange, not clash that takes place among civilizations. The
theory of clash has been forwarded by some extremists, it is not a product
of civilization itself.
Finally, on the role of intellectuals, leaders and scientists in the process of dialogue among civilization, he said they have a great role in every society as they are the opinion makers. The common people always follow them. The intellectual class must shoulder their responsibility with great sincerity and wisdom.
Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Shaban Shahidi said on Monday the
idea of the dialogue amongst the civilizations was not merely a motto but a
principled plan to settle the problems on the international scene
a meeting with head of the Iran-Russia Cultural Association Vladimir Ivanov,
Shahidi hoped that Russia would help Iran in promotion of the dialogue of
the meeting which was attended by a number of Russian Ironologists, scholars
studying in the domains of history, cultural and politics, Shahidi also
commented on the September 11 terrorist attacks
in the United States.
said after the U.S. attacks, it was more essential to push for the promotion
of the idea of the dialogue amongst the civilizations, which was spearheaded
by Iran's President Seyed Mohammad Khatami.
at the recent annual gathering of the world heads of states at the UN
General Assembly, President Khatami stressed the need for the promotion of
the dialogue amongst civilizations as an effective way to settle the
problems engulfing the human societies.
order to live peaceful lives and have hope for a brighter future, the human
beings across the globe need to rely on politicians with broader horizons of
thought that favor global cooperation aimed at safeguarding peace and
dialogue, rather than war and bloodshed, he noted.
expressed hope that the world politicians and influential authorities would
contribute to the dialogue idea so that they could collectively seek for a
way out of the rising threat of clash among civilizations.
sympathized with the American nation in the name of the Iranian nation and
government, recalling the letter he had written to Kofi Annan in this regard
in which he has asked the UN Secretary General to seek an international
solution to the shared problem for the whole world.
said it is time for the world nations to review the history of aggression
and discriminating measures and to seek for methods to seek introduction of
logical approaches initiated by the elites of various cultures.
Head of Iranian Organization for Islamic Communication Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Taskhiri in Vienna held talks with Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Benita Ferrero Waldner on dialogue of civilizations.
pointed to her visit to Iran in February and said that she made a fruitful
visit to Iran, adding that Austria is keen on holding dialogue of
civilizations which included hosting a conference in Salzburg on dialogue of
civilizations attending UN Secretary general Kofi Annan.
Ferrero expressed pleasure with active participation of thinkers from Iran
and Austria in dialogue of civilizations.
Taskhiri appreciated the efforts made by Professor Andreas Besth, Head of
Saint Gabriel Theological Institute and Austrian former foreign minister
Aloos Mock in fostering dialogue and said that their efforts have now
A book focusing on a certain aspect of Dialogue Among Civilizations, "Dialogue between Islam and Christianity" was introduced at the end of a conference under the same title in Vienna.
bilingual book, in German and Persian languages, was presented for the first
time during the closing ceremony of the said conference which was attended
by a number of Muslim and Christian thinkers from Iran and Austria at the
Austrian Academy of Political Sciences.
articles of the book are actually texts of the lectures presented at the
said conference that was cosponsored by the Embassy of the Islamic Republic
of Iran in Vienna, the United Nations, Iran's Islamic Communications and
Propagation Organization, the Austrian foreign ministry, and Austrian
academy of political sciences.
speakers at the closing ceremony included the Head of Iranian Organization
of Religious Communication Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Taskhiri, Iranian MP
Mohammad Khamenei, the internationally acknowledged German philosopher and
Islamologist Anne Marie Schimmel, Iran's ambassador to Vienna Ebrahim
Rahimpoor, the Archbishop of the Austrian Catholic Church Cardinal
Christopher Shunborn, and the head of the Austrian Saint Gabriel Institute
ambassador to Vienna urged the mankind not to lose the opportunities at its
disposal for setting aside their differences and bringing an end to a whole
century of wars and bloodshed.
have been witness to painful instances of genocide and racial purges during
the twentieth century, besides two devastating world wars," said
Rahimpoor, adding that the factors that led to those tragedies are still at work and it is worrying to notice that
during the past few years they have even aggravated.
said that the dialogue among religions is the real essence of he Dialogue
Among Civilizations and during the few gatherings in that context in Tehran
and Vienna some prominent Muslims and Christian thinkers of these two
countries have proven their strong will and restless efforts to reach at
tangible results regarding unity among followers of monotheist religions.
Iranian speaker at the ceremony, Hojatoleslam Seyed Mohammad Khamenei (the
younger brother of Iran's spiritual leader) said, " as the
representative of two great monotheist religions, we shoulder a sensitive
and heavy responsibility in this world that is so badly filled with
injustice, crimes and unethical deeds.”
in his remarks, Khamenei said that Prophets Muhammad and Jesus, peace be
upon them, are witness to the performance of the representatives of their
faiths, particularly witness to their performance in a mission aimed at
promoting unity among monotheists.
victory in such a sensitive mission depends on close cooperation between the
Islamic and Christian clerics, and that is quite a practical objective,
since there are no basic differences among the real followers of authentic monotheist faiths," argued the
the selfless efforts made on the part of doctor Andreas Beschte and
Ayatollah Taskhiri in that regard, Hojatoleslam Khamenei hoped that the
Dialogue Among Civilizations and the related dialogue among religions would
keep going when the Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations (2001) is over,
since they revive hope for living in peace and prosperity for the mankind.
last Iranian speaker, Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Taskhiri said that the logic
behind holding a fruitful dialogue is the authentic logic behind humane
behavior, that is the logic propagated by all authentic monotheist faiths
and that is why the Islamic Republic of Iran has always promoted the policy
of holding fruitful dialogues throughout its history.
Taskhiri added that one of the tangible fruits of dialogue among religions
was the establishment of a close cultural cooperation among Iranian and
Austrian thinkers, that he believes would serve as the foundation stone for
a long lasting, beneficial relation in the future.
time goes by, we realize how necessary it is to stick to the culture of
holding fruitful dialogues with those who have differing ideas with
us," said the ayatollah, apparently praising President Khatami's
globally acknowledged initiative.
only German intellectual at the gathering, Anne Marie Schimmel, began her
lecture with the Islamic Bismilah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim' (In the name of Allah,
the Compassionate the Merciful), adding that, "I begin my words with
the remembrance of the Creator, like any Muslim does.”
quoted a 13th century Christian scientist, Raman Noll, who had trained the
Christians to begin speaking in the name of the Creator, as the Muslims did.
noted that the Muslims tried to embrace more spirituality in their faith
after the barbarian invasions of Gengiz Khan and Attila, both from the
Mongolian tribe. "We need to take another lesson from the Muslims today
and that is to embrace spirituality in the west, today that the mankind
seems to be at hard work in a restless effort to destroy the whole world.”
us take a lesson from the Muslims and embrace spirituality that would give
us peace of mind," said Schimmel.
recalled the services rendered to the mankind by such great Islamic
scientists and literary figures as Avicenna and Rumi, the former serving as
the foundation of many modern sciences and the latter serving as a bubbling
fountain generating light of guidance and spirituality over many centuries.
Shunburn and Andreas Beschte, too, made some remarks on the significance of
dialogue among religions as the last speakers of the conference.
400-page book covering the lectures at the conference includes articles on
peaceful coexistence among Muslims and Christian throughout history, except
for the middle ages and the Crusades.
President Hugo Chavez presented his country's highest cultural, educational
insignia to the Iranian permanent representative to the United Nations
Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Ahmad Jalali.
ceremony was held in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, coinciding with the
Conference of Dialogue Among Civilizations in Latin America and Caribbean
of the Venezuelan cabinet ministers, the first president of Algeria Ahmed
Ben Bella, advisor to Iranian president and head of International Centre for
Dialogue Among Civilizations Ataollah Mohajerani, Iranian and Algerian
ambassadors in Venezuela, and a number of scientific, cultural and political figures attended the ceremony.
addition, the badge of "Francis Miranda" was presented to
84-year-old Ben Bella, who took office after the independence of Algeria.
European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten lauded the speech
of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami at the UN General Assembly last week
as “profound and thoughtful.”
welcome President Khatami's initiative on dialogue of civilizations,'' he
welcome President Khatami's initiative on dialogue of civilizations,'' he
EU Commissioner briefed the press on his meetings and activities at the UN
General Assembly. Patten, who listened to President Khatami's speech at the
UN in New York, described it as a 'profound and thoughtful contribution.' ”It
was a philosophical discourse rather than a speech on strategy,” he added.
reply to the question on what practical ways should be taken to promote the
dialogue among civilizations, Patten said there were many ways. ”One way
is to hold specific meetings and conferences. We must talk about all issues,
whether we disagree or agree,” he said.
Last week, Patten said the EU was ready to finance initiatives all over the world to promote the dialogue of civilizations. He clarified that human rights issues should form a part of dialogue of civilizations.
Kuwaiti author, Ahmad Shahab, in an article titled “Iran Leads the
World”, referred to Iran as a veteran among the states opting for
inter-cultural ties and opposing conflicts.
the article written by Shahab, which was appeared in the Thursday edition of
Al Watan daily, Shahab has lauded the idea of dialogue among civilizations.
article reads, "The Western mentality ignores other civilizations and
just gives importance to the civilizations of Western origin, while the
world has so far been paying a high price for such an attitude.”
added, "Under such conditions, the idea of dialogue among civilizations
has been presented to guard the identity of all cultures and its logic is to
let the features of all civilizations be expressed.”
to Iran's opposition to any conflict and underlining friendly ties among the
nations, he added, "Once President Seyed Mohammad Khatami took power,
this policy was brought up and since 1997 when he proposed the idea of
dialogue among civilizations at the United Nations' General Assembly, it
became the pivotal point in global negotiations.”
upon President Khatami's initiative, 2001 was named the Year of Dialogue
Among Civilizations and the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan marked the
opening of the 21st century by putting great emphasis on replacing conflict
and war with the idea of dialogue among civilizations, recalled the author.
added, "The idea was based upon three common pivotal points of
'criticism' which defines the negative points of the Western culture,
'making use of the Western material and intellectual achievements' and
'highlighting Muslims' participation and share in the human achievements in
the course of history and its revival in future'.”
Kuwaiti author further said, "The progressive and civilized outlook of
Iran with respect to friendly ties among nations, dialogue among
civilizations and understanding among cultures may dominate the UN
atmosphere, which consists of various colors and races, to form a unified
world based on justice and governed by man.”
European Union official has underlined the support of the 15-member European
bloc to the initiative of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami on dialogue
among civilizations aimed at world peace and security.
are all in favour of it, as (already) expressed by the EU declaration,”
Gunnar Wiegand, EU spokesman for external affairs said, referring to
President Khatami's recent speech at the UN General Assembly.
Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel, whose country holds the current EU Presidency, gave a speech on dialogue among civilizations at the UN General Assembly, in which he expressed Europe's support to the Iranian initiative.
to a EU announcement distributed to the press on November 12, the European
Union (EU) will continue to emphasize the need for Dialogue of Civilizations
to promote tolerance and understanding between different cultures and will
fund initiatives throughout the world, which aim to reinforce such dialogue.
Chris Patten, EU Commissioner for external relations, took part in the UN
third committee plenary debate ''dialogue among civilizations'' held in New
York on 9 November.
said the EU will fund initiatives throughout the world which aim to
reinforce such dialogue.
noted that following an Iranian initiative in 1998, the UN General Assembly
declared 2001 the UN Year of dialogue among civilizations. Several
activities and programmes have been implemented and the debate will
commemorate the Year.
Among Civilizations is an anti-war measure,” states Russian official,
Moscow, Nov 14, 2001
Head of Russian Federation's International Affairs Commission Mikhael Margilov said on Wednesday that President Seyed Mohammad Khatami's initiative for Dialogue Among Civilizations is actually an effective international measure against staging wars in new era.
added that the announcement of the year 2001 as the Year for Dialogue Among
Civilizations was a global vital necessity and although the credit for it
should naturally be given to the Islamic Republic of Iran, the whole Islamic
world boasts sine an Islamic leader has proposed it.
to the prominent role played by the Islamic Republic of Iran in solving the
international, and particularly regional crises throughout its
two-decades-plus long history, Margilov said, "Iran must also play a decisive role in the establishment of the future
expressed delight over the news on the liberation of Kabul and most other
major Afghan cities from the oppressive rule of the Taliban militants,
noting that "the anti-Taliban united front should take important
lessons form their past mistakes that once led to the emergence of the
reactionary Taliban militants.”
Russian official said that the best solution to the Afghan crisis is
following Iran and Russia's joint initiatives, including the establishment
of a broad-based Afghan government, inclusive of all Afghan tribes and political-military parties.
President Khatami whose initiative for announcing the year 2001as the year for Dialogue Among Civilizations received international applaud in 1999, also asked for the establishment of an international coalition to safeguard peace at global level during the recent UN General Assembly.
Minister of Culture and the Islamic Guidance Ahmad Masjed Jamei said that war starts when there is no commitment to listen to different voices or to hold dialogue.
a meeting with Chancellor of Rio de Janeiro University, Candido Mendes,
Masjed Jamei said that in a world community where all ethnic and political
groups enjoy the right to hold dialogue, there is no need for war. He added
that all nations favor peace so that war is the consequences of disregarding
dialogue and justice.
to the current situation in Afghanistan, Masjed Jamei said that the human
crisis in Afghanistan is indication of the idea that equates Afghanistan
with terrorism ignoring the Afghan culture and civilization.
the contrary, the other side thinks that the US is symbol of violence and
corruption, so that the ground for dialogue cannot be prepared between the
two sides, Masjed Jamei said.
idea behind the proposal to hold dialogue of civilizations is that western
civilization is not the only civilization in the world. There are other
civilizations which are the heritage for the mankind and their achievements
should be made use of in the modern world," he held.
theory of civilizational dialogue is not only a cultural agenda, but also,
it should be applied in the political field to take effect in the political
behavior of humanity in future," Masjed Jamei remarked.
pointed to the historical amity between Iran and Brazil, and said that the
two nations have diverse ethnic groups and great civilizations and said that
globalization does not mean ignoring the independent cultures and
civilizations. Masjed Jamei called for developing cultural relations between
the two countries.
welcomed the proposal put forward by President Mohammad Khatami on
civilizational dialogue and said that dialogue should replace the clash of
Rio de Janeiro University Chancellor extended an invitation to President
Khatami to visit Brazil and said that his university has planned to award
the Iranian president with honorary doctorate.
Ambassador to Iran Cesario Melantonion Meto, also present in the meeting,
called for boosting cultural exchanges between the two countries. .
Mohammad Khatami has warned against precipitated actions in the anti-terror
campaign, saying they could lead to the expansion of terrorism.
is only one of the terrorist bases and any hasty action in this respect
could lead to the expansion of terrorism in other parts," he told CNN
reporter Christian Amanpour, referring to Osama bin Laden's organization,
said to be the key to the September 11 terror attacks on the US.
is not a new phenomenon. But what hurts us more is the fact that the war and
terror machine have not halted in 2001 which is the 'Year of Dialogue Among
Civilizations', Khatami said.
United Nations named 2001 the 'Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations' on
President Khatami's initiative.
said the idea was to change the international behavior, which led to massive
crimes and massacres in the 20th century. "Such a change, however,
requires to happen over a long time," Khatami added.
civilizational dialogue is further intended to remove animosities, remaining
from the 14th century Crusade Wars between Muslims and Christians, Khatami
and Christianity still look at each other with spite, remaining from the
Crusade Wars and the idea of 'Dialogue Among Civilizations' is intended to
remove this misunderstanding and other
prejudices," he added.
Iranian president reiterated the Islamic Republic' stance on terrorism,
saying the country was against any form of terrorism.
is opposed to any form of extremism and believes that terrorism should be
confronted in such a way that no country experiences this phenomenon in the
future," he said.
should be confronted resolutely, its masterminds be brought to justice and
its roots recognized and stemmed," Khatami added.
stressed Iran's call for the establishment of a broad-based government in
Afghanistan, saying "all Afghan ethnic groups should participate in the
a government should be chosen by the people and accepted by the
given the current situation, Afghanistan requires a provisional government
to return the country into a normal situation so that its people could
effectively decide on their future," Khatami added.
on Tehran-Washington ties, Khatami said the United States had not taken any
practical steps toward shoring up its relations with the Islamic Republic
and "Washington's accusations against our country still continue.”
said the anti-American rhetoric in Iran and chants of "death to
America" was not directed at the "great American people", but
on the wrong US policies.
it is the time for the great American people to ask their statesmen what
policies had led to the September 11 catastrophe and why the people should
pay such a dear cost," Khatami said.
Iranian president criticized western countries, including the US, for
harboring terrorist groups, which have been involved in the assassination of
top Iranian officials and perpetrating other atrocities.
has held no diplomatic relations with the U.S. which severed its ties after
the 'Students Following the Imam's Line' stormed the American embassy in
Tehran, known as 'Den of Spies', in 1979 and took its staff hostage for 444
Islamic Republic was swift to condemn the September 11 terror attacks on the
American trade and defense centers but has also denounced the U.S.-led
strikes on Afghanistan for taking their toll on the civilians.