The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed Al-Tayeb, and Pope Francis signed on Monday a document on human fraternity at the end of the Global Conference of Human Fraternity, which was held in Abu Dhabi, the UAE.
The Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together seeks to encourage stronger relationships between people, promote coexistence, and confront extremism and its negative impacts.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE’s vice president and the prime minister and ruler of Dubai; and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and the deputy supreme commander of the UAE’s armed forces, attended the ceremony.
During the signing ceremony, Bin Rashid presented the first ‘Human Fraternity Award – Dar Zayed’ which was jointly given to the Grand Imam and Pope Francis.
The award was given to Al-Tayeb in recognition of his firm position in defence of moderation, tolerance, global values, and his vehement rejection of radical extremism.
The Grand Imam called on Muslims to protect Christian communities in the Middle East, and for Muslims in the west to integrate in their hosting communities. “You are part of this nation… You are not a minority,” he said.
In a speech, Pope Francis said that “hatred and violence” in the name of God cannot be justified, praising the value of education in reducing conflict.
The Global Conference of Human Fraternity was held from 3 to 5 February. More than 700 intellectuals, political, and religious leaders participated in the conference. It also marks the first visit of Pope Francis to the Arabian Peninsula.