Recommendations of the Second International Conference of the Assembly for Moderate Islamic Thought and Culture, The Practical Role of Moderates in Reform and the Revival of the Ummah (Amman, 25-271 Rabi’ 1427 ah / 24-26 April 2006 ce)
‘THE PRACTICAL ROLE OF MODERATES IN REFORM AND THE REVIVAL OF THE UMMAH’
Under the patronage of His Hashemite Majesty KING ABDULLAH II BIN AL-HUSSEIN
IN THE NAME OF GOD, THE COMPASSIONATE, THE MERCIFUL
The Moderation Assembly for Thought and Culture held its second international conference, titled ‘The Practical Role of the Moderate Current in Reform and the Revival of the Ummah’ in Amman in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on 24-26 April 2006/24-25 I Rabi’ 1427 with the attendance of leading scholars, thinkers, and leaders for Islamic action who adhere to the moderation programme.
After the conference participants deliberated the state of the Ummah and the role of the Moderation Programme in the reform and the revival of the Ummah in the shadow of the attacks on the Islamic world from outside and extremism and fanaticism from within. They agreed on the necessity of sincere and active persons in the Ummah to pool their energies to advance Islamic action from the theoretical to the practical frameworks, and cultivate strategies, working plans and programmes that strengthen communication between the entities which comprise this programme, upon which it relies, in order to extricate the Ummah from its [present] crisis and missteps. The conference participants also reviewed the decisions of the International Islamic Conference which was held in Amman on 4-6 July 2005 and which pertained to the adherents of true Islam of the eight schools of Islamic jurisprudence, recognizing them, respecting them and the inviolability of their blood, honour and property and repudiating those who are bold enough to undertake declaring Muslims as apostates and issuing fativas without possessing the necessary qualifications, and repudiating disagreement among Muslims and unifying their speech, and strengthening the fraternal ties which bind them and not leaving any room for internal discord among them.
And in view of the importance of the results of the conference, its decisions, and its role in deepening the understanding of moderation, the conference participants decided to adopt these decisions as part of the decisions and recommendations of the conference: ‘The Practical Role of the Moderate Current in Reform and the Revival of the Ummah’ and for the ‘ulama’ to be signatories to them as an affirmation of their adoption, adhering to them, and calling others to them. In the light of that and after reviewing the researches and the working papers presented at the conference and listening to the discussions and dialogue which revolved around them, the conference participants issued the following recommendations and decisions:
- The conference participants present their sincerest thanks and appreciation to His Hashemite Majesty King Abdullah II Bin Al-Hussein for his patronage of this conference and they also value the support which the Jordanian government presented in order to make this conference a success.
- Affirming that Islamic culture is the Ummah’s fortress, the address of its civilizational identity and the locus of its uniquely defining characteristics and that the ministries and institutions which have a relationship to its objective take up supporting preserving and strengthening it, and emphasizing the way of moderation in carrying out its objectives in the Arab and Islamic world.
- Re-affirming the principle and the means of connecting the constituent components of the moderation programme: ‘ulama’, parties, institutions, that is through the following means:
- Supporting the idea of an international global forum after reviewing its basic organisation and beginning with foundational working steps.
- Re-affirming the idea of an annual ‘encounters workshop’ of the moderation movement and selecting a single point of conversation for research for every meeting, investigating it and revealing the means to implement it.
- Employing the website of the Moderation Assembly for Thought and Culture as a core means for disseminating moderate thinking and the moderation programme until such time a new site is adopted and in addition to the other already accredited websites.
- Formation of a follow-up committee which meets periodically to follow up the implementation of the conference recommendations.
- Formation of a financial committee in order to guarantee the funding for implementation of the programmes and plans of moderation. Its mission will be to coordinate with the executive committee and the International Assembly in order to surmount the obstacles which may prevent implementation of these decisions.
- Casting in final form a final statement of the Moderation Movement or the International Moderation Assembly which shall be sent to Arab and Muslim leaders and to the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference for the purpose of accrediting the International Moderation Assembly as one of the civil institutions with which cooperation is facilitated through the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and charging the executive commit- tee with casting this final statement.
- Formation of an academic committee whose mission is to assemble all of the literatures and researches about moderation that have been presented at different conferences and selecting from them that which may be published in different languages, and adopting a plan for distributing these publications to the various international Islamic communities so that they may benefit from them, according to the principles followed.
- Launching an internal campaign of dialogue between the different Islamic movements and their constituents in order to reach common ground through understanding the intellectual frameworks and coordination of Islamic action against the threats which Islam and Muslims face in the Islamic world by follow-up through the International Moderation Assembly to the extent possible.
- The Conference recommends that the International Moderation Assembly works to coordinate between all the institutions and the Islamic agencies which adhere to the moderation programme, and proceeds to coordinate amongst them and to cooperate in proposing common Islamic initiatives in order to broaden the framework for proposing the Islamic Moderation Programme in the remaining arenas and on all levels, popular and elite.
- Proceeding to strengthen the dissemination of the Islamic Moderation Programme through satellite channels, particularly those which declared themselves as having an Islamic orientation, along with the possibility of establishing a satellite channel which presents the Moderation Programme as practiced by the Assembly, provided the reasons and financial and technical capabilities and specifications are ample for doing so.
- Confronting the erroneous understanding of Islam as disseminated by teaching programmes and intellectual, broadcast and cultural means in the west and coordinating with individuals and agencies which are experienced in this regard and studying previous undertakings to correct the stereotypical images which emerge from that erroneous understanding, pursuing the appropriate means to participate in these undertakings, such as international conferences, and supporting appropriate research centres and cooperating with influential agencies especially, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and the Arab Organization for Education, Culture and Science.
- Cooperating with individuals and Islamic bodies which possess a moderate orientation, in order to cast the strategy for the moderation movement and working plans in order to carry them out, and urging governments, official and civil organizations and institutions to adopt and support them.
- Continuing to emphasise the necessity of continuing dialogue and coordination between the schools of Islamic jurisprudence for the purpose of greater proximity and understanding.
- Corresponding with Arab and Islamic heads of government and the league of Arab universities in order to accredit a special course in universities for studying the culture of moderation along with scholars participating in the International Moderation Assembly to prepare an academic programme book toward this objective and to present it as a proposal ready for implementation.
- Affirming the Amman Message and calling for its broad adoption through media, educational and guidance agencies and likewise to affirm the decisions of the Moderation Conference which was held in Amman in 2004 and those of the Kuwaiti, Saudi, Bahraini, and other conferences within the literatures of the moderation movement and disseminating them.
- Confirming the results and recommendations which arose from the Inter-national Islamic Conference which was held in Amman in 2005 and which emphasised the necessity of strengthening Islamic unity, respecting the schools of Islamic jurisprudence and forbidding Muslims from declaring their Muslim brethren as apostates, and mutual recognition of the eight schools of Islamic jurisprudence.
- Affirming a committee on dialogue with leading western thinkers and politicians such that dialogue is initiated via a group which represents the Moderation Movement and not a single or regional dialogue since that is more responsive to transmitting the desired thinking to others and to the continuance of coordination with respect to it.
- Nominating a number of non-Muslim personalities from the west and east in consultation with relevant centres, those who are regarded as fostering mutual understanding, moderation and acceptance of the other, and inviting them to the upcoming conference within a plan which aims to broaden the circle of moderation from its Arab and Islamic framework to an international one.
- Cooperating with university bodies specialized in the Islamic lands in order to coordinate with western universities and engage in dialogue with them concerning the fields of Islamic studies they offer and to actively engage in correcting the potentially negative and erroneous images with the readiness to cooperate in involving Muslim specialists in those fields in accordance with the principles of mutual exchange and cooperation among universities.
- The Conference recommends encouraging the endeavours of Arab and Muslim artists and writing to artists’ unions in the Arab and Islamic world to turn toward producing series and films which serve the way of Islamic moderation on the level of local consumption and which are in accordance with world marketing, and supporting this marketing in accordance with the principles followed between the cinematic and television sectors operating in the Islamic countries and the west.
- The conference participants emphasise the lack of addressing the security situation in confronting all forms of extremism and fanaticism and the necessity of dealing with them through confronting their causes, including the policies of some of the ruling elite in the west and arresting the climate of hostility in their interaction with Islamic issues and Muslims more generally, also in confronting the weakness displayed by Arab and Islamic governments in displaying a more complete picture of Islamic issues and Muslims. The conference participants believe in the necessity of directing correspondences and detailed studies in this regard at the decision makers and the research and study centres that are able to influence doing so.
- The Moderation Movement emphasises that its goal is to serve Islam through its middle-ground vision and that there is no reliance of any sort in the plans of its parties, symbols and movement on violence in implementing its programme and that its relationship with rulers is advisory and consultative.
- The economic resources of the Ummah is a trust placed with governments which requires dedicating a portion thereof in the service of the ‘religion of the Ummah’, not only in the Arab and Islamic arena, but also in the universal and international arena.
- The battle of concepts and terms is truly one of the battles which the Umma wages in order to establish its identity. In this regard the Moderation Movement emphasises precise articulation of all these concepts and terms, such as ‘terrorism’, ‘extremism’, and ‘resistance’. Moreover, it emphasises the right of the Ummah to legitimate resistance of all sorts of occupation the Arab and Islamic world, as the conference condemns the acts of self-destruction and random killing which the people of Iraq are exposed to and likewise the practices of the occupying forces in Iraq and Palestine and requests that they leave Iraqi, Palestinian and Afghani lands.
- [Given that] the Muslim woman established her capacity for intellectual and political participation, the Conference recommends supporting this role and broadening the intellectual submission that is in harmony with the firm bases of Islam with respect to the issue of women, emphasising her just due in the framework of integration with her brethren in religion, and not within the framework of collision and conflict. The Conference recommends that a number of Muslim women be among the members of the International Moderation Assembly.
- The conference emphasises the need for action to eliminate the gap between those who are described as the elite in the Islamic world in intellectual, cultural and other fields and ordinary Muslims. The conference emphasises the necessity of action to intensify contact with young adults and youth, deemed as they are the starting point for spreading the moderate Islamic discourse, and supports their participation in the different executive plans, programmes, initiatives, and proposals.
- The Conference affirms the importance of action to develop school curricula in such a manner that strengthens the upbringing of the new generation early on and which [enables] comprehending Islam and its moderation and the completeness of its different aspects and develops the independent self-reliant Islamic personality that is able to discern and to avoid the different impaired images of some of the dimensions of Islam in the school curricula that are under the influence of a global assault in its different guises.
- The Conference affirms that the spread of the Moderation Movement and support for it and confronting what internally and internationally contradicts it, necessitates action to annul emergency and extraordinary laws and to realize a complete national reconciliation which affirms what the Islamic religion established of the principles of freedom, justice, equal participation, internal questioning, and the primacy of the rule of law which are in themselves democratic principles which realize a basis for national mutual consensus between governments and peoples.
- The conference participants decided to form a preparatory committee to whom is entrusted the task of following-up the measures to establish a Global Forum for Moderation formed of the following individuals:
- Imam Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi (Sudan)
- Dr. Mustafa Uthman Ibrahim (Sudan)
- Mr. Buqira Al-Sultani (Sudan)
- Dr. Isam Al-Bashir (Sudan)
- Dr. Saadeddine Othmani (Morocco)
- Hajj Mustafa Al-Sisi (Senegal)
- Dr. Ahmad Al-Kubaisi (Iraq)
- Dr. Wahba Al-Zuhayli (Syria)
- Dr. Umar Abd Al-Kafi (Egypt)
- Mr. Muntasir Al-Zayyat (Egypt)
- Dr. Abd Al-Wahhab Al-Masiri (Egypt)
- Dr. Muhammad Habash (Syria)
- Dr. Muhammad Amin Al-Rakala (Morocco)
- Dr. Abd Al-Halim Uways (Egypt)
- Mr. Muhammad Al-Tullabi (Morocco)
- Mr. Hani Al-Fahs (Lebanon)
- Eng. Marwan Faouri (Jordan) *
- Dr. Fayiz Al-Rabi’ (Jordan)
- Dr. Muhammad Al-Khatib (Jordan)
- Dr. Hayil Abd Al-Hafiz Dawud (Jordan)
- Dr. Muhammad Al-Qudat (Jordan)
* Eng. Marwan Faouri was confirmed as general coordinator for the International Moderation Assembly.