The Muslim Council of Elders and the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue have signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen interreligious and intercultural dialogue. The parties were represented by Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, the Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders, and His Eminence Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, Prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue.
The agreement calls for the formation of a permanent joint committee for Islamic-Christian dialogue between the Muslim Council of Elders and the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue, to be co-chaired by both sides and to hold annual meetings for the coordination of joint efforts and initiatives that promote dialogue and coexistence among followers of different religions and cultures around the world.
Cardinal Ayuso expressed his appreciation for the efforts of the Muslim Council of Elders under the Chairmanship of His Eminence, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb. He pointed to the historical bond between His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence the Grand Imam, which has become a source of inspiration for millions of religious people around the world.
Cardinal Ayuso added that the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding today will contribute to strengthening joint cooperation efforts and catalysing further inspiring initiatives and projects to spread coexistence and human fraternity globally.
For his part, the Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders, Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, affirmed that this agreement comes within the framework of strengthening efforts of Islamic-Christian dialogue, based on the history of coexistence between Islam and Christianity and the principles within the Document on Human Fraternity for world peace and living together, co-signed by His Eminence the Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, and His Holiness Pope Francis, in Abu Dhabi in 2019.
Abdelsalam remarked that there are many existing projects on which the Muslim Council and the Catholic Church are collaborating, in order to promote dialogue and coexistence, the most recent of which was the Bahrain Dialogue Forum, held last November, in addition to the historic Islamic-Christian dialogue between the Muslim Council of Elders and senior figures from the Catholic Church to discuss global challenges. He also pointed that the many crises the world is witnessing today require uniting efforts of political and religious leaders to show the world the way to overcome these challenges