The European Muslim Leaders Majlis (EuLeMa) express their deep gratitude to Pope Francis and the Catholic Church, and to Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyeb and the institution of Al-Azhar al-Sharif, for the “historic” Document on “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” signed by the two leaders in Abu Dhabi. In a statement released by the Italian Islamic Religious Community(COREIS) in Italy today, 17 European Muslim religious leaders, members of EuLeMa, thank Pope Francis and Grand Imam al-Tayyeb for “the clear reference mentioned in the Document to freedom, justice, dialogue, the protection of places of worship, the cooperation between East and West, the condemnation of terrorism, the value and dignity of family, women, children, elders and the poor”. “Having gone through the Document”, the European religious authorities express their “endorsement and commitment to this noble initiative and to the content of its message”. European Islam is “honoured to respond to the generous invitation” contained in the Declaration so that the document signed in Abu Dhabi “may serve as a guide for future generations to advance a culture of mutual respect”.
“In our institutional and educational role in European society – the statement from EuLeMa reads -, we have engaged in the training on universal values common to Christianity and Islam as well as other religious doctrines”. We are aware that only the implementation of “these guidelines in the context of contemporary society” can avoid “ghettoes, victimization, discrimination as well as standardization of human and religious identity”. In particular, EuLeMa members – as Muslim believers and European citizens – welcome the reference to “Citizenship” in the Document, particularly the need to “establish in our societies the concept of full citizenship and reject the discriminatory use of the term minorities which engenders feelings of isolation and inferiority”. Finally, the statement announces that EuLeMa members will be shortly meeting in Bucharest during the EU Romanian Presidency in order to study “means and ways to implement the contents” of the Abu Dhabi Declaration and “study common strategies to develop its success”.
The 17 signatories to the statement include Rais al-Ulama Emeritus Mustafa Ceric (Bosnia); Imam Yahya Pallavicini (Italy); the President of the French Council of the Muslim Faith Anouar Kbibech (France); Imam Sheikh Mohammad Ismail (UK); and the Imams and Muftis of Finland, Austria, Germany, Romania, Poland, Russia, Denmark, Portugal, Lithuania, Albania, Ireland, and Slovenia.