Monday, April 28, 2014

Jordan's King honours winners of King Abdullah II Award for World Interfaith Harmony Week 2014

2010 United Nations resolution UN World Interfaith Harmony Week crowns 
“over a decade of commitment by the General Assembly to focus the attention of the world in the creation of a culture of peace-building, non-violence and mutual understanding among the faithful of different religious traditions” Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem

His Majesty King Abdullah poses for a group photo with participants in the King Abdullah II World Interfaith Harmony Week awards ceremony in Amman on Sunday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday acted as patron at the King Abdullah II World Interfaith Harmony Week award ceremony.   

During the ceremony, which took place at Husseiniya Palace, His Majesty presented the awards to four winners.  Royal family members and senior officials attended the event.

The World Interfaith Harmony Week was initiated by the King, who put it forward to the 56th session of the UN General Assembly, which unanimously adopted it.

The Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought established this award in recognition of three activities or publications that best contribute to the promotion of World Interfaith Harmony Week, adopted by the UN (PV/65/a.34) resolution. The week is annually marked in the first week of February.

First prize was awarded to the UN Interfaith Harmony Partners in the Philippines, in recognition of the work they have done, for the third year running, in celebrating harmony week in the city of Zamboanga.

The recipients of second prize was the Centre for Peace and Human Rights in India, in recognition of the initiative they undertook called “An Ordinary Step for Ensuring Extraordinary Peace” in Uttar Pradesh, India.

Third prize was shared between the Gamal Farghaly Sultan Secondary School in Assiut, Egypt, in recognition of their event “Peace, without Prejudice” and Faiths Together, and Uganda for an event at their Goma Health Centre III, in Goma village.

The interfaith week, which began after the UN unanimously adopted the initiative of His Majesty in October 2010, is an annual platform to raise awareness and understanding between followers of the different faiths and promote dialogue and goodwill, through conducting activities and events that spread this message.

The idea behind interfaith week comes from the pioneering work of the Common Word initiative that was launched in 2007 which called for Muslim and Christian scholars to engage in constructive dialogue based on shared values: the love of God and love of neighbour without religious prejudice, to strengthen the shared ideological religious ground, as these two messages are at the heart of all three major religions. 

Head of the award jury, HRH Princess Areej Ghazi, said during her speech: “I am honoured, on behalf of myself and my fellow esteemed award panel members, to congratulate the efforts made by the participants in this noble project, which we consider a call for a new Fadoul Alliance [between tribes before Islam].”

She added: “The Messenger of Allah, PBUH, commended Al Fadoul Alliance in the pre-Islamic era, saying that if he was invited after Islam to join it, he would do that.”

“Echoing a similar call, Your Majesty, you have called the entire world and followers of all religions and beliefs to celebrate a world week based on the love of God and love of righteousness, which is a divine quality, and love of neighbour. The world has responded to the call and adopted the idea unanimously.” 

She stressed that “the week has been officiated by the UN since 2011, and this year, Your Majesty, you accepted that the award by the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought be named after you, so that the rest of the world be encouraged to take care of this week and the noble principles it was built on”...READ MORE

Jordan's King Abdullah II

HM King Abdullah has long been known for his peace initiatives. The Amman Message brought together the most authoritative figures of Islam to denounce terrorism, and promote harmony within the world of Islam.

Under his patronage, the Common Word initiative has brought together the highest ranking Christian and Muslim leaders from around the world on the basis of the two greatest commandments of Loving God, and Loving the Neighbour.

On September 23rd 2010, HM King Abdullah II of Jordan introduced a World Interfaith Harmony Week at the Plenary Session of the 65th UN General Assembly in New York. In his speech he said:
It is [also] essential to resist forces of division that spread misunderstanding and mistrust especially among peoples of different religions. The fact is, humanity everywhere is bound together, not only by mutual interests, but by shared commandments to love God and neighbour; to love the good and neighbour. This week, my delegation, with the support of our friends on every continent, will introduce a draft resolution for an annual World Interfaith Harmony Week. What we are proposing is a special week, during which the world’s people, in their own places of worship, could express the teachings of their own faith about tolerance, respect for the other and peace. I hope this resolution will have your support.
This resolution was adopted by the UN on October 20, 2010, and the first week of February, every year, has been declared a UN World Interfaith Harmony Week.


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