Córdoba, May 17, 2022. The First Cordoba Forum “From Islam-Christian Dialogue to the Abrahamic Family”, organized by the FICRT Foundation at Casa Árabe, with the collaboration of the University Institute of Religious Sciences of the Complutense University and the Unesco Chair of Conflict Resolution of the University of Cordoba, culminated with the presentation of the Cordoba Manifesto, which advocates “life, peace, justice and fraternity”. The manifesto was read in Arabic, English and Spanish by the speakers Nedal Alteneiji, Rafael Vázquez (Episcopal Conference of Seville) and Susana Brauner during the closing ceremony presided over by Jumaa Alkaabi.
In this meeting, in which representatives of different confessions participated, interreligious dialogue, pluralism, the need to respect others and the need for coexistence among all were defended. In fact, this declaration, which consists of five points, calls for a general ethic to encourage dialogue between individuals, peoples, beliefs and cultures. For Jumaa AlKaabi, Chairman of the FoundationThis manifesto will serve as a roadmap to promote dialogue among religions, not only those belonging to the so-called Abrahamic family, but also among the different faiths, since the objective is to promote “peaceful coexistence, fraternity and respect for the other”..
AlKaabi, who was very satisfied with this meeting that takes up those held in the 70s in the capital of Cordoba, said that the Foundation he chairs will work in this line and will continue to organize such forums in which different experiences are expressed and everything that unites religions is put in common. The so-called Manifesto of Cordoba calls for personal and collective responsibility in favor of life, peace and justice based on a renewed commitment to the dignity of every human person and the effective fulfillment of human rights. This defense of peace implies the need to resolve conflicts through a new international order with just laws that are respected by all nations, according to one of its points. It also reflects the religions’ common commitment to fraternity, which they advocate to send a message of peace and social justice to their followers.
This First Cordoba Forum, whose technical coordinator is Professor Mohammed Dahiri, was attended by speakers from different countries around the world, belonging to different universities and institutions and members of different religions, not only belonging to the so-called Abrahamic family but also to other faiths. Before the presentation of the Manifesto, the fourth and last session of the Forum was held, in which Mª Ángeles Gallego, senior scientist at the Institute of Languages and Cultures of the Mediterranean and Near East of the CSIC, addressed the interactions between Jews and Muslims in Al-Andalus. The doctor recalled that, in 2016, a group of Sephardic Jewish intellectuals published a manifesto and created an organization aimed at promoting equality between Jews from the Middle East and Central Europe, as the latter often hold the top positions in Israel’s administration and government.
The goal is to strive for a new Golden Age, a concept that is already present in the history of the Jewish community. This Golden Age has a double meaning: on the one hand, it defines Jewish life in Al-Andalus; on the other hand, from a more academic point of view, it refers to the period between the tenth and twelfth centuries, of social and cultural heyday of the Jews in Al-Andalus, especially with regard to Hebrew poetry.
The second speaker was Dr. Ahmad H. Anwar, professor at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Port Said (Egypt). In his presentation, Anwar warned about some of the dangers that globalization can bring to humanity: “Man can end up becoming a machine of production and consumption, directed robots in a directed world. Where are the moral, religious, ethical, artistic values? A single, unified, universal culture is created, which imposes itself and leads to the emergence of something as dangerous as the awakening of tribalism, based on religion and ethnicity. Its intention may be good, but it may end up resorting to violence to impose its views.”.
He also referred to some milestones in the recent history of fraternity and interreligious dialogue, such as the signing of the Document on Human FraternityThe event will be held in February 2019 by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azahar, “which is the spiritual engine of this Foundation”.and the creation of the Egyptian Family Housein a very complicated social environment such as the one that existed in 2011. The session closed with Christian Giordano, PhD in Theology from the Free University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands), representing the Evangelical Church. “Interreligious dialogue is complicated, because first you have to define what is a religion and what is a sect, who represents whom. Besides, you can’t talk to everyone at the same time, although we should strive to do so,” he says.
He also stressed the need not to limit this dialogue to people of faith, but also to extend it to secular groups, which coexist in society with the religious.
TEXT OF THE CORDOBA MANIFESTO
Declaration for Life, Peace, Justice and Fraternity
The Cordoba Forum, “From the Islamic-Christian Dialogue to the Abrahamic Family”, in which different religious, political and intellectual personalities from all continents have participated, gathering the best patrimonial, spiritual and cultural heritage of the symbolic figure of the patriarch Abraham, wishes to state the following in this hour of the global world:
1. To call for personal and collective responsibility in favor of life, peace and justice from a renewed commitment to the dignity of every human person from the effective fulfillment of human rights.
2. Abraham’s drama and faith make us aware of life as the most precious good, but also of the fragility of human life. Many are its weaknesses and challenges, such as hunger and disease, but war is undoubtedly its greatest and humanly avoidable scourge.
Our manifestation in favor of peace implies the need to resolve conflicts through a new international order with just laws that are respected by all nations, which implies that these nations respect the human rights of all their citizens.
4. For its universal vocation, religions coincide in their strong commitment to fraternity and therefore they should address each of their faithful and, in general, all men and women with a radical and unequivocal message of respect for life and peace, based on the dignity of all human beings and the social justice that guarantees it.
5. We thus appeal to the conscience of a general ethic, which favors dialogue between persons, peoples, beliefs and cultures for the stated purposes.
In Cordoba on June 17, 2022