King urges interfaith dialogue among Muslims

December 9, 2008

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz today called on the Muslim Ummah (community) to initiate a dialogue in order to unify the standing of Muslims in the world and eradicate extremism and violent ideologies.


Speaking to heads of states and heads of Hajj missions at a meeting in Mina today, King Abdullah reflected on the hope of the late King Abdulaziz, founder of modern Saudi Arabia, to see a united Muslim Ummah inspired by the unity and equality of the faithful during Hajj.

“Last Hajj, I spoke with you about the importance of interfaith dialogue as the Kingdom called for discussing the idea in Makkah among Muslim scholars who welcomed it and based their endorsement of it on Shariah. Then the Interfaith Dialogue Conference in Madrid came into being with the participation of representatives of other religions and cultures who reviewed the declaration of Muslim scholars in Makkah. The Makkah Declaration called for a wider implementation of the idea through a high level meeting of the United Nations’ General Assembly on the interfaith dialogue. The UN high level meeting, attended by many prominent world leaders, recently wholeheartedly supported the idea of interfaith dialogue,” King Abdullah said.

“The objective of this interfaith dialogue, which was initiated by your brothers in the Kingdom, is to strengthen the pride of Islam and serve humanity. The success and acceptance it has achieved, due to the bounty of God, makes us optimistic that it will gain more success in the future, God willing,” the King said.

“Today we are in need of dialogue within the Muslim Ummah itself,” King Abdullah said. He noted that “division, ignorance, and extremism are obstacles threatening the hopes of Muslims. Also, terrorism is threatening the world and it is attributed to Muslims alone because of the actions of few extremists who represent none but themselves. Though they put on the guise of Islam, the religion is innocent and not responsible for their acts. This makes dialogue among the Muslim Ummah necessary to unify the ranks, bolster moderation, remove the causes of conflict and eradicate extremism,” King Abdullah told the dignitaries.