Forum 2000: Press release 11/10

More from the Forum 2000 conference...

Prague, 10.10 2006

The Interfaith Panel featured Rabbi Michael Melchior, Catholic Representative Professor Tomáš Halík, Bishop Michel Dubost, Professor at Hiroshima University Soho Machida, Iraq-American writer Kanan Makiya, President of Carnegie Corporation Vartan Gregorian, President of the Arab American Institute James Zogby, Chairman of ZICO Zaid Ibrahim and Associate Director for Broadcasting of Radio Free Europe Joyce Davis. Keynote speaker H.H. Dalai Lama opened Forum 2000’s last day of discussion, the Interfaith Dialogue, by calling for “genuine harmony on the basis of mutual understanding.” H.H. emphasized that a risk of globalization is the combination of “destructive emotion, human intelligence and modern technology.” H.H. called for cultivated compassion in soothing destructive emotion. He added that religion can aid this process, “various religions have very important roles to create better human beings.” H.H. concluded by stressing that religious humility is essential and that every religion has its own purpose to satisfy different needs of different people.

The panel discussed issues of tolerance, categorization and the manipulation of religion for political ends. Professor Tomáš Halík redirected the focus of the question: do religions offer a solution or are they part of the problem, to the role of the media and politics in accentuating religious controversy. James Zogby and Professor Soho Machida claimed that by considering the sociological conditions in which fundamentalism arises, it could be alleviated. Machida concluded the dialogue with a personal prayer that symbolized the spiritual atmosphere of the conference in crowded main hall of Žofín Palace.

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