From Myanmar to the Middle East, from Vienna to Central African Republic, Support Pours in for Kaiciid after Austrian Vote
"Who will take over this job?" - Vienna-based religious leader
Following a motion passed yesterday in Parliament seeking Austria’s withdrawal from KAICIID’s Council of Parties, messages of support for the Centre have poured in from all areas of its operations across the world.
KAICIID’s Board of Directors, comprised of high-level representatives of the major world religions, criticised the move, saying it “jeopardised” the Centre’s work in interreligious dialogue in some of the most troubled regions of the globe.
Senior religious leaders involved with KAICIID’s programmes echoed the Board’s concerns: His Eminence Shawki Allam, Grand Mufti of Egypt, said “I strongly hope and pray it (the Centre) will continue its blessed work to promote God’s will of love, respect and cooperation among all of us.”
In Central African Republic meanwhile, Cardinal Dieudonné Nzapalainga and his Eminence Oumar Kobine Layama said KAICIID’s work “had a major impact in supporting a resolution of the Central African crisis and has facilitated tolerance, the process of the return of displaced persons, peace, and the principle of living together in CAR.”
In Myanmar, the Peaceful Myanmar Initiative, a KAICIID-supported platform of Muslim and Buddhist religious leaders, issued a statement saying in part “as a result of our close collaboration (with KAICIID) over the past 3 years, we have built an extensive network of interfaith dialogue champions, launched an IRD Training Centre, conducted over 30 dialogue and peace trainings reaching out to over 3000 individuals.”
In Nigeria, another area of operations for KAICIID, His Eminence Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, said: “ We commend KAICIID for their unrelenting commitment to peacebuilding all over the world. The relevance of KAICIID has become more and more visible.”
Fellows from all over the world that have been participants in one of KAICIID’s flagship training programmes, also commended its work. Awatef Anwar Boshra, a former Fellow from Egypt’s Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services said: “KAICIID is a reflection of the human values that I have observed through communication with its employees, programme managers and trainers.
Rabbi Alexander Goldberg, a former KAICIID Fellow and Chair, Coordinating Council of Jewish Organisations at the United Nations, said: “ I think KAICIID is a place to engage on human rights, gender equality, rule of law and religious freedom. It is essential in the dialogue between the Western and Arab world, working towards encounters between people of faith.”
Ahmad Alhendawi, Secretary General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, which is engaged globally with millions of youth, praised KAICIID’s programmes, saying : “We are convinced that our partnership with KAICIID has added value to our work in promoting dialogue and building better understanding among young people.”
Jacques Moreillon, Former Director General and Member of the ICRC, and Former Secretary General of WOSM, said: “Having been Secretary General of World Scouting I know what it means to work in a truly multi-confessional, multi-cultural fashion, especially for youth… (KAICIID Secretary General) H.E Bin Muaammar and the whole KAICIID team are great professionals in the realm of multicultural, multi-confessional education for dialogue and mediation, without a trace of discrimination and a strong, genuine desire to make our world one of greater coexistence.”
In KAICIID’s home town, Vienna, local religious leaders joined in praising the Centre. The Reverend Canon Patrick Curran, Chaplain of Christ Church, Vienna, spoke highly of the influence of KAICIID training programmes aimed at preparing local leaders for interreligious dialogue. "In times of crisis, these religious leaders (trained by KAICIID) contribute to be able to bring peace through relationships….In times of stability, they contribute to a better understanding of difference, allowing faith communities to live well side by side with one another.”
Tarafa Baghajati, Chairman, Initiative of Austrian Muslims said: “KAICIID does a good job and has developed positively from an organiser of large conferences to practical and sustainable projects. KAICIID supports, for example, the Jewish-Muslim Leadership Council (MJLC). It has also initiated refugee integration programmes and has sponsored and supported a number of peace initiatives in trouble spots around the world. Who will take over this job?
To see more reactions and support for KAICIID read here.