ISESCO Director General at the Opening of the Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers Appeals to the international community to assume its responsibility in protecting the human heritage in Al- Quds Al-Sharif
The Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, stated that the endeavor to raise awareness of the international public opinion to address the continued Israeli assaults against Al-Aqsa Mosque, in particular, and on the Al-Quds Al-Sharif in general, for seven decades now, can bolster the efforts exerted within the framework of ISESCO, ALECSO and UNESCO to protect the Arab-Islamic heritage in the Holy City, which is also a heritage shared by humanity at large.
In the address delivered at the opening session of the Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers today in Manama, he appealed to the international community to carry its responsibility to protect the human heritage in Al-Quds Al-Sharif and all over the world and confront extremism, sectarianism and terrorism which place at stake global security and peace at all levels. He underscored that the protection of human heritage is not the exclusive responsibility of a state or a people but rather a common global human mission that should be assumed, as an ethical duty, a legal responsibility and a political commitment on the first place.
He also said that the choice of the theme of this extraordinary session of the conference “Together for Safeguarding Human Heritage and Countering Extremism” reflects, on the one hand, the great interest we all have in the protection of world heritage which belongs to the entire humanity, and on the other hand, our commitment to fighting all forms and degrees of extremism which is an individual and collective behavioral aberration and intellectual zealotry owed to corrupt beliefs.
Dr Altwaijri affirmed that it is necessary to closely and systematically link between the protection of heritage and the fight against extremism, given that extremism, a gateway to terrorism, targets both tangible and intangible heritage and compromises the stability of human societies. He stressed that extremism should be battled with all security and intellectual means and eliminated to ensure protection for heritage, which is an asset preserved and inherited throughout history so as to seek inspiration and benefit from it, and ensure protection to it for it is indeed a pillar of our national identity and a source of pride which reflects the belonging to human identity which binds the entire humanity together. He added that based on this deep meaning, national and Arab heritage is a global human heritage.
He further explained that protecting human heritage through fighting extremism in all its forms is a collective responsibility that should jointly be assumed by the international community, the United Nations, its Security Council and all parties concerned with global peace to save the world from the scourge of wars and the exacerbating disastrous crises.
Dr Altwaijri pointed out that this is the overall intellectual content of the project of “Manama Process for the Activation of Joint Islamic Cultural Action to Face Extremism, Sectarianism and Terrorism” which is submitted to the Conference for decision saying that this project, which combines theory and practice, complements the project of the “Action Programme on the Promotion of Islamic and International Support for Safeguarding Civilizational and Cultural Heritage in Al Quds Al Sharif” which will also be examined by the Conference. The strong tie existing between the two projects will serve as a basis for the “Bahrain Declaration on the Safeguarding of Human Heritage and Countering Extremism” which will be issued by the Conference as a founding document that will boost the system of relevant reference documents adopted by ISESCO’s specialized ministerial conferences.