More than 120 Muslim leaders Commit to the Future of Afghanistan during International Conference in Turkey

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THE CONFERENCE CONCLUSIONS

(29 NOVEMBER -2 DECEMBER IN ISTANBUL, TURKEY)

From Afghanistan and from around the globe, imams, civil society leaders, and world renown Islamic scholars have participated in “Islamic Cooperation for a Peaceful Future in Afghanistan,” an unprecedented gathering of over 120 imams and scholars, from all provinces of Afghanistan and every corner of the world, which took place in Istanbul, Turkey, November 30-December 2, 2011. The conference was a non-governmental forum with impartial views toward governments and opposition groups. Participants have joined with the Afghanistan Advisory Board of The Project for Islamic Cooperation for a Peaceful Future in Afghanistan, Marmara University, George Mason University, in the exploration of vital themes of peace for the future of Afghanistan.

Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), an organization representing 57 nations around the world, expressed OIC’s commitment to a future peaceful Afghanistan during his important address to all in attendance. The conference opening was observed by senior Turkish officials, the United States President’s Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the most senior diplomats from Organization Islamic Conference (OIC) member states, including senior representatives from the embassies of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Pakistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Turkey.

Prominent senior scholars of the Islamic world who addressed the conference participants included Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, the Grand Muftis of Jordan, the Grand Mufiti of Bosnia and the Grand Mufti of Istanbul, Dr. Usamah Al Abd, President of Al-Azhar University, Sheykh and Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, Kh. As’ad Said Ali, Vice Chairman of Nahdatul Ulama, Indonesia, Shaykh Muhammad Imdad Hussain Pirzada and many others listed below.

The Project’s goal is to provide much-needed forums and opportunities to help generate local, regional and international Islamic cooperation in support of peace in Afghanistan. At the heart of this process has been the meeting of world famous Islamic scholars with Afghan Imams from all over Afghanistan. The Afghan Imams and the global Islamic scholars have never had the chance to meet each other in the past and inspire each other.

Inspiring teachings, guidance, and models of peacemaking and peacebuilding on key issues of the conference were presented by these great scholars. There was a creative combination and alignment with Afghan cultural and Islamic values that for the first time in decades was presented independently to a global forum of Islamic scholars. Together, they have demonstrated extraordinary courage and brilliance in the peaceful leadership and guidance of Islamic civilization.

The following are the key conclusions of the conference:

1) The global Islamic scholars, Imams, and civil society representatives expressed their deep concerns about the use of religious interpretations, often misinterpretation, in justifying violence, particularly against civilians, religious leaders, places of worship, and cultural heritage in Afghanistan and beyond. Under the guidance and Islamic texts that were narrated in the conference the global Islamic scholars, Imams and civil society representatives made a plea to all side of the conflict in Afghanistan to prevent attacks and harms to civilians.

2.) The global Islamic scholars, Imams and civil society representatives articulated very clearly their commitment for a responsible and active participation in peacemaking and peacebuilding via dialogue and non-violence. They encouraged all sides of the conflict in Afghanistan to invest in peaceful settlement via negotiation.

3.) The global Islamic scholars, Imams, civil society representatives recognized that there have been mistakes and shortfalls in peacebuilding in Afghanistan, and they recognized legitimate grievances, including social justice issues, that need to be addressed peacefully, not via violence.

4.) The global Islamic scholars, Imams, and civil society representatives asked the Ulama and civil society within the OIC member states to take urgent steps toward supporting the peace process in Afghanistan. From this stand, they pleaded to the Ulama, Imams and civil society leaders in Afghanistan neighboring countries, particularly in Pakistan, to take more steps forward in support of peace process in Afghanistan.

5.) The global Islamic scholars, together with the Afghan Imams, civil society leaders and scholars, considered their gathering, discussion and commitment for peace and non-violence, as the establishment of a historically significant point of reference for Islamic teachings to moderation, tolerance, peace and cooperation that is urgently needed in Afghanistan.

6.) The alignment of global scholars via the cooperative effort established by this conference will give great strength to Afghan civil and spiritual leaders to advance the moral fiber of their communities. This will empower them to create a tolerant civic space wherein the Afghan people and their leaders can jointly march toward stability, peace and prosperity via local, regional and global cooperation and solidarity.

7.) The great global Islamic scholars have admired the courage and resilience of the Afghan civil and religious leaders standing for peace and justice for their people, giving them the advice necessary to further peace and prosperity for their communities. They offered the promise for greater Islamic cooperation for a future peaceful Afghanistan.

8.) The global Islamic scholars, Afghan imams and civil society representatives viewed the conference and the project as one of the most significant steps necessary for building peace and ending violence in Afghanistan. They jointly expressed their commitment to support the upcoming forums and workshops inside Afghanistan and beyond.

The conference, which launched a two year project inside Afghanistan, has created the needed space to connect Afghan Imams and civil society leaders with the broader global efforts, experiences and lessons learned toward achieving non-violence, uplifting the human condition, and offering social and moral support to ensure human dignity and just peace. This is essential at a time when stability in Afghanistan is prerequisite for regional prosperity, and this goal can be achieved only via a mutually respected alignment toward and investment in a shared vision for peace.

Years of violence and conflicts in Afghanistan left millions of people death and caused the spillover with significant reinforcement of violence, particularly in Afghanistan and Pakistan that caused more innocent people to be killed. Therefore, peacemaking and peacebuilding, as viewed by the global Islamic scholars, Imams and civil society representatives, is a civic duty and and Islamic obligation in support of the people of Afghanistan and their neighbors as they are moving toward ending the current conflict via negotiation and non-violence.

AFGHAN ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS:

  1. Mawlavi Mostafa Barakzai, Member of the Ulema Council & Senior member of the Afghanistan Supreme Court
  2. Mawlavi Shahzadeh Shahid, Member of the Parliament & member of the High Peace Council
  3. Mawlawi Attaul Rahman Salim, Director of the Islamic Research Center and former Deputy Minister for Minister of Hajj and Endowment
  4. Munir Morowat, Head of the Center for Interpretation and Hadith in the Academy of Sciences
  5. Ghulam Dastagir Khawrin, Professor of Education, Kabul University.
  6. Dr. Abdulbadeah Sayad, Professor of Sharia School of Kabul University
  7. Mohammad Farid Hamidi, Commissioner, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission
  8. Mohammad Ashraf Rasuli, Senior Advisor to President Karzai
  9. Mohammad Asif Mesbah, Islamic Scholar and Imam
  10. Nafisa Kabuli, Member of Supreme Court and senior member of the Afghanistan Bar Association
  11. Mohammad Omar Sharifi, Director for the Kabul office of American Institute for Afghanistan’s Studies
  12. Dr. M. Saeed Niazi, Director at the Civil Society Development Center
  13. Professor Neamatollah Nojumi, Senior Fellow at the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution

GLOBAL ISLAMIC SCHOLARS WHO SPOKE AND STUDIED WITH THE AFGHAN IMAMS:

  1. Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference
  2. Dr. Usamah Al Abd, President of Al-Azhar University
  3. Professor Mustafa Cagrici, the Great Mufti of Istanbul
  4. Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, founder of Menhaj ul-Quran International.
  5. Dr. Ahmad Khaled Babikr, Secretary General of International Islamic Fiqh Academy, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  6.  Kh. As’ad Said Ali, Vice Chairman of Nahdatul Ulama, Indonesia.
  7. Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf, Secretary to Supreme Council, Indonesia.
  8. Dr. Mustafa Ceric, the Grand Mufti of Bosnia.
  9. Dr. Abdul Kareem Khasawneh, the Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Jordan
  10. Maulana Mufti Muhammad Zahid, Sheikh ul-Hadith and Fiqh, Jamia Islami Imadia Faisalabad, Pakistan.
  11. Sheykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, the world prominent Naqshbandi-Haqqani Sufi leader and the Founder of the Islamic Supreme Council of America.
  12. Dr. Qamar Ghulam, Al Azhar University, Egypt.
  13. Shaykh Muhammad Imdad Hussain Pirzada, Executive Director of Al-Karam Trust, the United Kingdom.
  14. Professor Ali Bardakoglu, Former President, The Presidency of Religious Affairs, Republic of Turkey
  15. Ms. Nazife Sisman, prominent writer, Istanbul, Turkey.
  16. Prof. Mustafa Sinangolu, Mayis University, Turkey.
  17. Prof. Recep Kaymakcan, Sakarya University, Turkey.
  18. Prof  Burhan Koroglu, Bacashir University, Turkey
  19.  Syed Tahir Saeed Kazmi, Chairman, Society for Education and Peace Building, and Project Director of Anwaar ul Uloom Islamic University, Multan, Pakistan

CONTRIBUTORS AND PARTNERS:

  1. National Academy of Sciences, Kabul, Afghanistan.
  2. Equality for Peace and Security, Afghanistan.
  3. Sharia School at Kabul University, Kabul, Afghanistan.
  4. High Peace Council, Kabul, Afghanistan.
  5. Ministry of Hajj, Kabul, Afghanistan.
  6. Center for Islamic Research, Kabul, Afghanistan.
  7. Ministry of Information & Culture, Kabul, Afghanistan.
  8. Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, Kabul, Afghanistan.
  9. The Institute for Middle East Studies, Marmara University, Istanbul Turkey.
  10. The Center for World Religion, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution (CRDC) at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR), George Mason University.
  11. The American Institute for Afghanistan Studies (AIAS), Kabul, Afghanistan.
  12.  Shaar Organisation for Research on Society.
  13. Afghanistan Branch of the World Association for Al-Azhar Graduates (WAAG).
  14. Society for Education and Peace Building, Pakistan
  15. World Organization for Resources, Development and Education (WORD).
  16. Anwaar ul Uloom Islamic University, Multan, Pakistan
  17. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
  18. Menhaj ul-Quran International
  19. Al-Azhar University
  20. OIC International Islamic Fiqh Academy
  21. Nahdatul Ulama, Indonesia
  22. Jamia Islami Imadia Faisalabad, Pakistan.
  23.  Islamic Supreme Council of America.
  24. Jamia Al-Karam, United Kingdom.
  25. Presidency of Religious Affairs, Turkey
  26. Abdul Rahman, Jami University, Herat, Afghanistan.

Contacts:

Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, George Mason University. crdc@gmu.edu  +1 703-993-4473

Contact inside Afghanistan:

Dr. M. Saeed Niazi, Director at the Civil Society Development Center, Kabul Afghanistan

m_s_niazi@yahoo.com 0799020320

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