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ICESCO holds first international seminar “The Quran and the West: Towards a Rational Approach”

ICESCO holds first international seminar “The Quran and the West: Towards a Rational Approach”

Baku, July 10, AZERTAC

The headquarters of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) hosted the first International Seminar “The Quran and the West: Towards a Rational Approach” on Tuesday, according to the official website of the organization.

The Seminar, organized by ICESCO in collaboration with the German Institute for Dialogue and Understanding (Mouatana), was attended by high-profile international figures, several ambassadors accredited to the Kingdom of Morocco, and experts in Islamic studies and Interreligious dialogue.

This Seminar, held in-person and via videoconference, opened with the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran, followed by opening remarks of Ambassador Khaled Fatahalrahman, Head of ICESCO Center for Civilizational Dialogue, who emphasized the significance of the Seminar’s theme among Muslims worldwide. He noted that the Seminar’s diverse sessions would feature rich contributions from a select group of thinkers, experts, and scholars in Arabic and Islamic studies as well as Interreligious dialogue.

Salim M. AlMalik, ICESCO Director-General (DG), underscored the profound human impact of the Quran, describing it as the most influential book in shaping the characters and attitudes of its followers toward others. Dr. AlMalik highlighted that the Seminar, as reflected in its title and themes, is convened to promote the welfare of humanity and enhance security, peace, and coexistence.

ICESCO Director-General AlMalik stated that the West’s representation of the Quran in the Seminar encompasses the entirety of Western civilizational heritage and its manifestations in global human relations and geostrategic implications. Furthermore, AlMalik presented intellectual perspectives from various orientalists on the eloquence, miraculous nature, and powerful influence of the Quran on the human psyche.

Moreover, ICESCO DG stressed that a rational approach is the optimal way to counter campaigns of defamation against the Holy Quran. He added that this approach requires strict adherence to respecting sacred values and upholding the principles of freedom of expression while balancing it with the rights of others. AlMalik announced that the Organization would reveal the launch of the initiative “Read It… to Understand It” at the closing of the Seminar, after receiving several proposals from National Commissions in Member States.

In his remarks, Robert Dolger, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Kingdom of Morocco, affirmed the Quran’s significant position in Europe and its highlight of the cultural exchange between different civilizations.

The Seminar proceeded with the main lecture delivered by Prof. Stefan Schreiner, Senior Professor of Religious and Jewish Studies at the University of Tübingen, Germany, entitled “The Evolution of Quran Knowledge in Europe through Translation.” This was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Abdelmalek Hibaoui, Head of the Interreligious Dialogue Department at the German Institute for Dialogue and Understanding (Mouatana).

Another session themed “Visions and Ideas,” moderated by Ramata Almamy Mbaye, Head of the Human and Social Sciences Sector, was held with the participation of several experts worldwide.

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