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The 9th Doha Conference of Interfaith Dialogue will open on Monday October 24th at the Sheraton Hotel in Doha, Qatar. The conference will host over 200 participants from 55 countries covering the five continents and including high profile religious representatives and academic figures. The theme of this year deals with the impact of the social media on inter-religious dialogue, with sessions and workshops to span 3 days. The 9th Doha Conference of Interfaith Dialogue is co-organized by the Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue and the Permanent Committee for Organizing Conferences
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Doha conference stresses interfaith dialogue for peaceful coexistence

JEDDAH: Making use of modern information and social media in promoting dialogue between the followers of different religious faiths and cultures is the theme of an international interfaith dialogue conference that was opened in Doha on Monday. Speakers emphasized the importance of dialogue saying it was essential to reinforce world peace and stability. “Dialogue between people of different faiths is not just an imaginary idea. It’s quite practical and can promote peaceful coexistence of people with dignity, justice, peace and security,” said Qatari Justice Minister Hassan bin Abdullah Al-Ghanim. Leaders of prominent world religions such as Islam, Christianity and Judaism addressed the opening session and emphasized the need for promoting interfaith dialogue, making use of modern information media including the Internet, Facebook and Twitter. "The belief in the oneness of God is the basis upon which the divine religions are built and hence, it is incumbent upon all to maintain a relationship of mutual respect for the good of humanity, to which all belong," the minister said. Former Egyptian Mufti Dr. Nasr Wasil presented a worksheet that stressed Islam's keenness for interfaith dialogue. "Islam recognizes the importance of human communication and interaction between different societies," he said. The three-day conference is expected to discuss a global code of conduct on the use of social networking sites from a religious perspective. There was a surge in the number of websites advocating hatred against some religious communities after 9/11. “The topic of this year’s conference, Social media and inter-religious dialogue, is inspired by the Arab Spring and the active role played by social media in the revolutions taking place in the region,” said Professor Ibrahim Saleh Al-Nuaimi, chairman of the Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue (DICID). Social media are being misused by several groups worldwide to create hatred among religious communities, Al-Nuaimi said. “The conference will explore ways to use this powerful medium to create better relations and understanding between the followers of different religions and cultures,” he added. Youth activists from Egypt and Tunisia will talk about their successful experience with social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in the recent revolutions in their countries. “The Doha conference, now in its eighth year has generated tremendous interest among religious leaders all over the world,” the DICID chief said. “The conference has given us an opportunity to know the prominent religious personalities all over the world and bring them together in a common platform. This is not a small achievement,” he pointed out. The topics to be discussed in the conference include: How has the social communication contributed to the weakening of traditions and customs and reducing social relations?; the misuse of social networking sites among the religious communities; and the effects of the use of modern communication technology and its links to developments in liberalization in Arab countries.

Arab News