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World Interfaith Harmony Week and the Fight Against Terrorism

31/01/2018 10:00:42 AM


For the past few years, Darchei Noam has presented an event as part of World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW), which occurs annually from February 1 to 7. This year is no exception: on February 7 we’ll be hosting “Our Home, Our Stories: Indigenous, Muslim and Jewish Communities in Dialogue”, developed in partnership with the Intercultural Dialogue Institute (IDI) and the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto (NCCT).


WIHW was created by a United Nations Resolution dated October 10, 2010, sponsored by H.M. King Abdullah II of Jordan and adopted unanimously. Its goal is that “All people of good will, regardless of faith, are encouraged to come together and learn about each other during the first week of February of each year.” WIHW is not just for those who are religious; it is for all people of good will, regardless of belief, who care about world peace:


The World Interfaith Harmony Week seeks to spread the message of harmony and tolerance among the followers of all the world’s religions, faiths and beliefs. It seeks to do this by promoting their common basis of “Love of God and Love of the Neighbor, or Love of the Good and Love of the Neighbor”. Its message invites everyone, excludes no one, and is purely voluntary.


WIHW originated in the fight against terrorism with the 2005 Amman Message, written under a directive of HM King Abdullah II of Jordan, that was aimed at the Islamic community, intending to build a consensus around the true nature of Islam. In 2007, A Common Word Between Us and You was written at the king’s behest, declaring the common ground between Islam and Christianity based on the shared commandments of “Love of God and Love of the Neighbour”. Pope Benedict XVI picked up on this declaration and said during a visit to Jordan:


the more recent A Common Word letter …. echoed a theme consonant with my first encyclical: the unbreakable bond between love of God and love of neighbor, and the fundamental contradiction of resorting to violence or exclusion in the name of God (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 16


This exchange sparked further interfaith dialogue between the Muslim and Christian communities.  


In 2010, King Abdullah extended his call for peace by proposing World Interfaith Harmony Week, aimed at including all people, both religious and secular. True to its roots, combating terrorism has remained one of the initiative’s goals:


To permanently and regularly encourage the silent majority of preachers to declare themselves for peace and harmony and providing a ready-made vehicle for them to do so. Moreover, if preachers and teachers commit themselves on the record once a year to peace and harmony, this means that when the next inter-religious crisis or provocation occurs, they cannot then relapse into parochial fear and mistrust, and will be more likely to resist the winds of popular demagoguery.


If you’d like to support World Interfaith Harmony Week, please join us at our event on February 7 and open yourself up to new understandings of “Our Home” from Jewish, Muslim and Indigenous perspectives. By participating in this initiative, we add our two cents to the great global goal of world peace based on respect of diversity.

Thu, 23 May 2024 15 Iyar 5784