Doha – Information Office – 17 November
The State of Qatar participated in the third virtual Ministerial Conference to Advance Freedom of Religion or Belief, which was organized by the Republic of Poland on November 16-17.
The State of Qatar was represented in the conference by a delegation headed by HE Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for International Development Dr. Khalid bin Rashid Al Mansouri and included HE the Acting Director of Department of Human Rights at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Turki bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud.
In the State of Qatar’s speech, HE Dr. Khalid bin Rashid Al Mansouri affirmed that the State of Qatar has demonstrated over the past two decades its determination to build an open and tolerant society where people of different religious beliefs and cultures feel that they are at their home.
The State of Qatar has made interfaith dialogue one of the pillars of its national and foreign policy; to achieve this goal, it established a number of institutions that promote interfaith dialogue and combat intolerance and religious extremism, including Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue and Qatar Committee for Alliance of Civilizations, HE said.
The State of Qatar hosts annually a fellowship program for the Alliance of Civilizations in cooperation with the United Nations General Secretariat of the Alliance of Civilizations. It provides young leaders from different parts of the world an opportunity to interact and learn about each other’s cultures, religious beliefs and histories with the aim of making the participants leaders in promoting interfaith dialogue, HE added.
In order to promote religious tolerance and freedom and dialogue between civilizations, the State of Qatar has opened a compound for worship in 2002 for all sects.
The State of Qatar has also contributed to restore and protect the global cultural and religious heritage by supporting UNESCO initiatives, especially in areas exposed to natural disasters and wars, Al Mansouri noted.
At the end of Qatar’s speech, HE the Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for International Development stressed that promoting religious freedom, freedom of worship and the right of religious minorities is not a one-way street. While the promotion of these rights is enshrined in the constitutions of most Western countries, there has been a worrying underestimation of hate speech, intolerance and Islamophobia in most Western societies. The recent measures are merely the result of belittling the importance of hate speech against Muslims, he said.
Organizing this conference comes in light of the challenges facing the world today, which have led to emergence of violence based on religion or belief and discriminatory and selective measures to restrict human rights under the pretext of fighting the pandemic (Covid-19), HE said. He called on governments and civil society organizations to fulfill their responsibilities towards this more than ever before, emphasizing the need for these attacks to act as a wake-up call for all of us to work more than ever to promote interfaith dialogue and defend the rights of religious minorities around the world.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar