The Headquarters of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) hosted an international celebration of the International Day for Tolerance, organized by ICESCO in partnership with the Moroccan Observatory on Extremism and Violence (OMEV), and the Danube Institute in Hungary on Wednesday, November 16, 2022. The event brought together a host of representatives of international organizations and institutions, and researchers in the fields of peace-building, promotion of tolerance, and the fight against extremism and violence from the Islamic world and beyond.
The celebration began with a recitation of verses from the Holy Quran, followed by a general presentation by Ambassador Khalid Fathalrahman, Head of the ICESCO Center for Civilizational Dialogue, in which he noted that tolerance is a major human value and one of ICESCO’s main areas of activity.
Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ICESCO Director-General (DG), began his address by emphasizing that tolerance, which is enshrined in all laws and religions, is an inherent value to humans that is deeply rooted in their souls, and that radiates across all human activities.
He stressed that ICESCO places youth and children at the core of its activities to nurture tolerance in them, foster fraternity, cultivate harmony, and eliminate racism, intolerance and hatred, calling for the integration of the concept of tolerance and its importance in school curricula all over the world.
Dr. AlMalik added that tolerance is the “unparalleled gem” in all of ICESCO’s activities and orientations, explaining that the Organization has launched several programmes to promote tolerance, namely the International Day of Mercy Initiative as an international occasion that radiates forbearance and peace, in addition to launching the Encyclopedia on Deconstructing Extremist Discourse.
For his part, Mr. Eric Falt, Director of UNESCO’s Maghreb Office, praised ICESCO’s efforts to promote tolerance and highlighted that this value is key to human survival and coexistence among societies.
For his part, Mr. Jeffrey Kaplan, Researcher at the Danube Institute, reviewed the Institute’s main projects and programmes geared towards combating extremism and spreading the values of tolerance and peace, underlining the need for greater efforts to break the chain of violence, discrimination and intolerance.
In his address, Dr. El Mostafa Rezrazi, OMEV Executive Director, noted that spreading tolerance and anchoring peace is a forward-looking project whose outcomes will appear in the future, and reviewed the Observatory’s major projects aimed at promoting tolerance by educating the public and raising their awareness and combating violence.
For his part, Mr. Thierry Malbert, Expert at the Civilizational Dialogue Center, explained that ICESCO is keen to make tolerance a cornerstone for building peace and achieving rapprochement between cultures, civilizations and peoples as a contribution to overall development and prosperity.
In his address, Dr. Ahmed Abbadi, Secretary-General of the Mohammedia League of Scholars in the Kingdom of Morocco, underscored the need to uphold tolerance as a lofty, unparalleled value, and called for joint action to instill and display its principles, commending ICESCO’s efforts to commemorate this occasion.
In a joint address on migration and extremism and their link to North Africa and Europe, Ms. Sáron Sugár and Ms. Virág Lőrincz, Researchers at the Danube Institute, explained the importance of the geographical location of Morocco and North African countries in promoting tolerance.