Muslim Council of Elders commemorate signing of historic Document on Human Fraternity

The Muslim Council of Elders commemorated the singing of the historic ‘Document on Human Fraternity’ on Saturday, marking its four-year anniversary since it was signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayeb.

The Document, signed in Abu Dhabi on February 4, 2019, in the presence of the United Arab Emirates’ then-Prime Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed intended to create a lasting legacy of tolerance and understanding that is reflected in the annual International Day of Human Fraternity worldwide.

“The International Day of Human Fraternity is a great opportunity to uphold the values of love, coexistence and reproachment and to maintain unity and solidarity in the face of intolerance, chaotic hatred, isolationism and extremism,” said the Grand Imam Dr. al-Tayeb.

“The significance of this day is magnified in light of the serious humanitarian challenges the world is currently facing.”

Grand Mufti of the Caucasus and member of the Muslim Council of Elders, Allahshukur Pashazadeh, emphasized the importance of the Document in a statement on Saturday, stressing that it promotes dialogue, coexistence, understanding, and mutual respect, especially in these difficult times the world is facing.

Pashazadeh remarked that the document has elevated Christian-Islamic dialogue to the highest level adding that it is necessary to fight against extremism, intolerance, bigotry, racism, and discrimination, which threaten global stability and security.

He also noted that the document recognizes human life and dignity as being among the highest values given by God and should be preserved through moral principles, not just laws and customs.

His Eminence congratulated all people on the International Day of Human Fraternity and called for further efforts to achieve peace, harmony, and human fraternity. He quoted the Quranic verse from al-Ma’idah 2, “Cooperate with one another in goodness and righteousness, and do not cooperate in sin and transgression.”

“We congratulate ourselves and the whole world on the anniversary of the signing of the Document on Human Fraternity, which carries a message of goodness, love, and peace for all humanity,” said Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders, Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam.

“Today, as we celebrate the 4th anniversary, we have a real chance to apply the Document’s principles and transfer them into a constitution, as a guide for future generations to advance human coexistence.”

Since the Document’s inception, it has received universal acclaim as a joint declaration by the world’s two most prominent religious leaders.

The International Day of Human Fraternity highlights the principles and values of the Document on Human Fraternity, while advocating for world peace, peaceful interfaith coexistence and explores good practices towards its implementation as a pathway to building a more peaceful world, commemorating the Document.

On December 21, 2020, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, co-sponsored by the UAE and Egypt, making February 4 the International Day of Human Fraternity.

On February 4th, 2021, the International Day of Human Fraternity was celebrated for the first time. This coincided with the Document receiving a Guinness World Record for its

“Human Fraternity Messages” campaign, which was the most pledges received for a peace campaign in 24 hours.

On the same day in 2022, leaders such as Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb, Pope Francis, and US President Joe Biden celebrated the second International Day of Human Fraternity.

Additionally, various events were held by the UAE’s Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence as part of Expo 2020 Dubai to mark this historic day.

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