Rights and Humanity’s multi-faith approach is mainstreamed throughout every aspect of our work. We are well placed to play a critical role in building Islamic/Western understanding.
Building Bridges of Understanding and Respect through Dialogue
In 1994 Rights and Humanity invited the Institute of Diplomacy in Jordan to co-host a Round Table to promote greater understanding between Islamic and Western diplomats participating in the meetings of the UN Commission on Human Rights (now renamed the Human Rights Council).
Our three-day residential Round Table entitled “The Encounter: Islam the West and Human Rights” provided a unique opportunity for participants to learn from each other about their cultural, spiritual and social diversity, at a time when the politicisation of human rights all too frequently prevented frank discussion between diplomats from different regional groupings.
Our Concluding Statement made recommendations for strengthening commitment to the universality of human rights and contained some important multi-faith statements confirming that there was no inherent tension between the basic tenets of the world’s main faiths and human rights.
It was significant that we were able to gain consensus on the nature of human between Islamic and Western diplomats and we held a follow up reception during the next Human Rights Commission to maintain the dialogue.
The conference followed shortly after the publication by Professor Samuel Huntington of his article “The Clash of Civilisations”. We challenged Huntington’s thesis, concluding that such a clash was not inevitable if attention were paid to our common humanity and universal values.
Our book: “The Encounter: Islam the West and Human Rights” was published by the Institute of Diplomacy, Jordan in Arabic and English in 1996. It has been influential in promoting a common understanding of human rights.