NEW DELHI: All religions teach peaceful coexistence; but they have been defamed and wrongfully attributed as the root-cause of the world’s problems and tragedies. The rationale that religions promote conflict by highlighting and exploiting fundamental differences between civilisations, has to be reevaluated. This was emphasised at the R20 Summit at Bali, in Indonesia.
“Muslims know through their religious texts that the religion rejects clash of civilisations and instead encourages an alliance of civilisations,” said, Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, Secretary General of the Saudi Arabia-based non-profit Muslim World League. He was speaking at the G20 Religion Forum (R20 Summit).
R20 is part of a series of G20 events initiated under Indonesia’s G20 presidency. It is shorthand for the G20 Religious Forum. Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim country with 231 million followers of Islam.
This year, for the first time, the R20 summit took place in Bali on November 2 and 3. Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam, the grand mufti of Egypt, identified ‘fatwas’ sharing a close relationship with extremism. He advocated for addressing the “tensions surrounding the issue of fatwas”, as it will have a direct impact on extremism.
The Indian delegation at R20 included, Swapan Dasgupta, National Executive member, Bharatiya Janata Party; Ram Madhav, National Executive member, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh; and Swami Govinda Dev Giri, Treasurer, Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust.
On the last day of the forum, Indonesia handed over the presidency of the R20 Summit to India.
The summit was organised by Nahdlatul Ulama, one of the largest Muslim organisation in the world, based in Indonesia. It appeals for a “moderate Islam and global peace.” It also advocates for re-contextualising orthodox Islamic teachings and reconciling these with contemporary culture.