He told CNA that “acting in the spirit of brotherhood, as requested from all of us by the 70 year-old Universal Declaration of Human Rights, should be visible especially among those who claim one God - Creator and Father of all.”
Figel highlighted developments in the wider Muslim world to advance peace and religious tolerance, recounting a similar conference in the UAE in December 2016, the World Conference on Peace in Muslim Societies.
“That conference was oriented on understanding of civil state based on equal citizenship, pluralism and fair treatment of religious minorities in the spirit of the Marrakesh Declaration adopted by Islamic leaders and scholars”.
The Marrakech declaration was a Jan. 2015 statement signed by more than 250 Muslim religious leaders, heads of state, and scholars aimed at “defending the rights of religious minorities in predominantly Muslim countries.”
Figel said that “this process continues. There are countries showing efforts to stop frequent misuse of Islam by terrorist groups for their interests.”
(Story continues below)
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In January of this year, the Islamabad declaration was signed by 500 muslim scholars during a gathering of the Pakistani Ulema Council. That declaration proclaimed 2019 as “a year to annihilate terrorism, extremism and sectarianism from Pakistan,” and condemns murder “under the pretext of religious belief.”
“Victims of the violent extremism are not only vulnerable minorities, but opposing peaceful Muslim communities as well,” Figel noted.
“After terrorist attacks on 9/11 of 2001, after Beslan massacre in Chechnya in 2004 and especially after rise of brutal movement of ISIS/Daesh since 2014 and other militant groups of Islamists there is an ongoing quest by numerous Muslim scholars, religious and political leaders for the elimination of frequent abuse of Islam by various groups in pursuit of their power and interests,” Figel said.