The General-Secretary of the King Mohammed VI Foundation of African Oulema, Sidi Mohammed Rifqi, has urged Muslims, Christians and other faith leaders to resort to divinity and dialogue to address sufferings in Africa.
The Sec-Gen, who stated this at the international symposium on interfaith dialogue in Abidjan, the capital of Côte d’Ivoire, also said a lasting solution will be found through common humanity.
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He noted that Africa is relatively a young continent that is full of promise and hope, but plagued by trauma, suffering and conflict.
“There is the need to carry the word of God and give substance to the merciful virtues, which guarantees happiness to humanity” he said.
Rifqi urged the Muslims and Christians clerics at the event to clearly identify priorities with regards to the objectives to be achieved and the challenges to overcome.
“It is necessary to lay emphasis on one fact in particular, which is to promote social peace within African societies,” he said.
He regretted the rise of criminal groups in African societies, which are devoid of any religion or political legitimacy, but perpetrating their crimes in the name of Islam.
“This is an intolerable situation, which stigmatizes and perverts the reputation of a religion.
“Faced with such a serious situation, Africa Oulema (scholars) cannot remain on the sideline and do nothing.
“To always preserve peace among Africans themselves, within their societies; and protect the societies by warning them against the threats that these crimes, perpetrated under the guise of religion pose to the stability of the societies,” he said.
On the need for inter-faith dialogue, he asserted that regardless of our different approaches to analyzing African societies, we “cannot understand them without envisioning the culture of dialogue and fraternal solidarity” as a way of co-existence.
Reflecting on Africa’s glorious past, Dr. Rifqi said “We live in a community of African history, which has always been characterized by a never-ending process of cultural enrichment.”
He also said that the Kingdom of Morocco, under the leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI has managed to promote spiritual peace, tolerance, dialogue and solidarity – along with Côte d’Ivoire and other African countries.
Also, the Representative of the Ivorian President, Abdulrahman Sissay, commended the King Mohammed Foundation of African Oulema’s efforts in promoting moderate and tolerant Islam.
He said that this is a wake-up call for the Ivorian government to rise up against violent extremism in some parts of the country.