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Statement of Supreme Mufti, Chairman of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan Sheikh Absattar Derbisali Print E-mail
Image In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful! Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds! Let Allah bless and welcome the Prophet Muhammad, his family, supporters and everybody!

Your Excellency Mr. President! Honorable guests and participants of the Congress! I welcome you sincerely on behalf of Muslims of Kazakhstan! By the grace of Allah (may He be glorified and exalted!), today we are happy to welcome the leaders of world and traditional religions for the third time.

As you know, Kazakhstan is a model of interreligious harmony and concord. More than 80 percent of the population of the country are associated with the culture of Islam, the rest belong to other faiths. All of them, regardless of religious affiliation, show sincere respect and tolerance towards the adherents of different faiths. Therefore, atmosphere of creativity, tolerance and concord established in our blessed land.

All of us remember the words of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, said by him at the closing of the I Congress. Nursultan Nazarbayev noted that all participants agreed that extremism, separatism, terrorism and other forms of violence in the name of religion have nothing to do with genuine understanding of religion and are the threat to mankind.

Following our Congresses I have visited many countries at different forums and met with many leaders of world religions. Many of them were touched by holding the Congress of world religions in Astana, and upon it some of them organized a retaliatory forums in their own countries as a sign of respect to Kazakhstan and its President Nazarbayev, which is a further implementation of the Declaration of the Astana Congress.
All of us are pleased that congressional activity is stepped up and bearing fruit. Each time, the number of delegates is increasing, and it lets us know about the need for such an event. The present III Congress of world and traditional religions gathered a solid number of participants. Today, we can say positively that this forum has turned into an effective tool that enhances mutual understanding and trust between different religions. There is no doubt that with the help of God the results of the III Congress will be fruitful and impressive.

Together Muslims, Christians and Jews make up more than a half of the inhabitants of the globe. It is impossible to establish true peace on the Earth without peace and justice between these religions. The future of the globe depends on peace between Muslims and followers of these faiths. Grounds for peace and understanding are present initially, since the basic principles of these religions is love for the God and the Neighbor.

In the ayats of the Quran the God calls people to be afraid of Him, they should listen to Him, believe and obey Him, and so they will do good. If you do good, then it will be possible to live in dignity and love and strive for the best.

Many of the commandments of Islam narrate of the importance of love and a sense of charity to the neighbor. This love is a part of love and devotion to the God, because in Islam there is no true faith in the God and justice, without love to the neighbor. Unity of the God, love to Him and love to the neighbor form a contact points upon which the Islam, Christianity and Judaism are based. Finding these points between Muslims and Christians is not just an occasion for polite ecumenical dialogue between featured religious leaders. Islam and Christianity occupy the first and second places respectively in the number of believers in the world. If there is a conflict between Muslims and Christians, there can not be sound peace in the world.

Existence of modern terrible weapons of mass destruction, cohabitation between Muslims and Christians have resulted in that in case of a conflict nobody would win. This means that our common future is under threat, perhaps, the survival of the whole world is in jeopardy. And if we do not exert all their efforts to establish peace and concord, then we will lose. Let's prevent from disagreements to result in to hatred and strife between us. Let’s vie with each other in fair and good deeds. Let’s respect each other, being just and living in the world of harmony and benevolence.

Particularly in time there is an essential need to address some issues, as well as recognize common values that exist between our religions. Failing to do this would be a missed opportunity. Memory of positive historical experiences will fade in the face of contemporary problems, that will cause sharp increase of misunderstanding between us.

Islam, Christianity and Judaism are monotheistic religions whose followers believe in absolute unity of One and Only One God. Islam, Christianity and Judaism have common prophets, Jews and Christians along with us, Muslims, are recognized as the “People of the Book”. For us, Muslims, the message of the Prophet Muhammad (Let the Lord bless him) is an extension and continuation of the message given through Moses, Jesus and other prophets (Let the Lord bless them). The Messenger Muhammad (Let the Lord bless him) believed that everything was God-given. As Christians, Jews and Muslims have elaborated and comparable with each other codes of conduct, laws and jurisprudence, covering all aspects of life. The importance of charity takes place in the value system of each of these religious traditions.

Muslims, Christians and Jews have made a significant contribution to creation of perfect forms in art and architecture. Islamic art, for example, affected the appearance of many churches, especially in those parts of the Muslim world, where Christians, Jews and Muslims lived together.

Prejudice and bigotry of Muslims, Christians and Jews against each other consolidated due to lack of knowledge about the adverse side, despite the fact that the striving for knowledge is the core of our religious traditions. The fact that the word “Torah” means “teaching”, “Gospel” – “good news”, and the Holy “Quran” – “reading” should awaken in us the desire to read, understand and learn from each other.

Traditionally, Muslims, Christians and Jews share a common intellectual history of philosophical exchange between Ibn Rushd, i.e. Averroes, and Moses Maimonides (Musa ibn Maimun al-Qurtubi) in medieval Spain.

Islamic intellectual circles brought to Europe, in particular, and to the modern world as a whole a lost old-time tradition of the Greek philosophers, for example, of Plato and Aristotle. Their doctrine was first enlivened and enriched by Muslim scholars such as al-Farabi, Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd and others, have influenced the writings and ideas of many Christian and Jewish scholars such as Maimonides. In such an intellectual atmosphere of maintaining the flame of ancient learning by religious thinkers ultimately determined its influence on secular humanism and modern science. With growing anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, Christians, Jews and Muslims must develop a joint strategy to counter discrimination.

They should also assist each other in maintaining their own identity in the era when is certain conformity on the part of minorities in relation to the dominant culture encouraged and expected . We emphasize the need of building bridges between our communities in terms of religious and geopolitical assumptions of the process. It is important to look honestly at the problem of anti-Christian, anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim sentiments, escalating into conflicts within our communities and between them. Today it is necessary for us to know the history of each other and accept each other with an emphasis on understanding.

At present there is no more severe challenge than the need to eliminate many of the historically formed and continuing to exist until now negative developments in relations between Muslims, Christians and Jews. In view of increasing polarization many people keenly feel the need to choose between dialogue and violence as a response to challenges.

Loss of every life is loss of the whole mankind, a bloody stain on the painting of history. If somewhere there are problems, they have to be solved peacefully, enabling establishment of respect, prosperity and security for both Muslims and non-Muslims, and fulfilling the right to peaceful coexistence.

All the above said is a call and a gesture of goodwill based on basis of the studies of the Holy Quran and other holy scriptures, as well as the particular desire to dialogue and mutual respect.

Moral tenets of the Holy Quran testify of its exclusively peaceful nature, aimed at strengthening the security of the international community. Its humanistic norms also testify of creative multi-vector policy of our State, policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan headed by President Nursultan Nazarbayev, which is aimed at further strengthening of international peace and security.

Great humanist Nizami always reminded that fair running the country and people by a wise leader adorns the state, making it durable and indestructible. There is no doubt that such a leader as Nursultan Nazarbayev, with his people brings peace and tranquility to all the peoples of our beautiful planet, let the Almighty grant him long life!

Let be peace and blessings of the Almighty God with you! And let the spoken words be interpreted as a small step in order to open doors to genuine dialogue and mutual understanding.

Dear colleagues, today during the Congress there has been sounded an opinion that it is necessary to open a Center for the Study of World and Traditional Religions in Astana. Today I have received the magazine, called “Peace and Concord”, where a lot of articles are published in Kazakh, Russian and English. You also can get this magazine.

Dear colleagues, distinguished guests and members of the Congress! In conclusion of my speech, I wish you all peace and tranquility, well-being and prosperity! Peace be upon you and mercy of Allah!
 
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