16 October 2017, Nîmes – The Executive Director of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue Ambassador Idriss Jazairy emphasized that the spiritual legacy and vision of the founder of contemporary Algeria – Emir Abd el Qader el Jazairy – is key to promoting harmony in diversity in the Mediterranean region, the birthplace of monotheism.
In his intervention – delivered during a seminar organized by Arc Méditerranéen in Nîmes (France) on the theme of "From one shore to another of the Western Mediterranean: Yesterday, today and tomorrow" - he observed that the contemporary tensions between the three Abrahamic faiths - that are being played out in the Middle East, North Africa and in Europe - are based on the misrepresentation of common values in the pursuit of narrow interests.
This “chain of violence” affecting these regions, he said, was characterized by military invasions “destroying societies in the Middle East” which has led to “a rise in extremes on both sides: the rise of xenophobic populism on the one hand and the rise of a criminal ideology on the other” observed the Geneva Centre’s Executive Director.
To address these obstacles, he noted that the vision of Emir Abd el Qader can serve as a source of inspiration particularly for younger generation - on either sides of the Mediterranean - to help them rediscover their common values and aspirations, and contribute to the promotion of peace, social justice and inter-religious harmony between Muslims and Christians.
In this regard, the Geneva Centre’s Executive Director stated that identifying common values between the Abrahamic faiths would enable identifying “symbioses on which future generations of the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean” can pin their faith to promote solidarity and protect themselves from the ideologies of xenophobia and exclusion.
Emir Abd el Qader el Jazairy – he noted – believed that Christianity and Islam “differ only in the way they advocate compliance with” cardinal principles of both religions which are the same: The conclusion of the Emir was that Islam and Christianity “are complementary and lead to tolerance”.
His vision – stated Ambassador Jazairy – was upheld in what the Emir referred to as “the rights of humanity” an expression that preceded the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by 85 years.
“The legacy of the Emir can be used as an Ariadne’s thread to lead us out of the maze of contemporary misconceptions, misunderstandings, misinterpretations and manipulation of diversity,” said Ambassador Jazairy.
Guided by the vision of the founder of contemporary Algeria, the Geneva Centre’s Executive Director noted that the Geneva Centre will be organizing a World Conference in mid-2018 on the theme of “Religions, Creeds and/or Other Values Systems: Joining Forces to Enhance Equal Citizenship Rights.” He stated that the potential for giving expression to Mediterranean “co-civilisation has been untapped for too long.” The World Conference – he said – “offers a new narrative for inter-faith cooperation” in line with the vision and the spiritual teachings of the Emir.