By: Hasan Kamoonpuri
MUSCAT: The 20th Muscat International Book Fair (February 26-March 7) has offered a rich treat to visitors with titles on Oman and other countries, vision on interfaith dialogue, worldwide unity and brotherhood in the light of His Majesty the Sultan’s policy of “Friendship with all and enmity to none”.
Mohamed Ali at an Egyptian book stall says, “The book fair offers a rich treat to visitors with titles on the significance of dialogue within and among civilisations as the best means of peaceful co-existence”.
For example, one of the titles at Oman’s Ministry of Education’s stall is ‘Education and Cultural Dialogue in the Sultanate of Oman’, which says by proclaiming the “Year of Dialogue among Civilisations in 1998, the United Nations members rejected the concept of a “Clash of Civilisations” because it is based on the unfounded notion that inter-civilisational understanding is unattainable”.
This book focuses on the “Importance of dialogue in Islam”, “Oman’s cooperation with international organisations such as the International Islamic Organisation for Education, Science and Culture, Unesco, and the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation.
The central thesis of this book is that “Dialogue is regarded as a key concept in Islam and it is key to unity, harmony, and peaceful co-existence which Islam upholds and supports.
260398The World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, an active and important organisation dedicated to promoting unity and understanding among nations, is attracting a big visitor turnout. It has some very important titles such as “Unity of the Islamic World: Vision of the Future”, “Doctrine of Islam”, and “G B Shaw on Islam”. The core message of all these books is the need to develop and deepen a better understanding and cement unity among world Muslims and with other civilisations. The members of the forum’s council comprise eminent thinkers from Oman, Iraq, Lebanon, Malaysia, America, Pakistan, and Iran.
The forum has established a University of Islamic Schools of Thought. Students from different countries in this university are engaged in studying in majors such as, Jurisprudence of different schools of thought, Quran and Hadith Sciences, history, and philosophy.
Another title at the Arab League stall is “League of Arab States and Dialogue of Civilisations”. It also emphasises the importance of unity and peaceful coexistence among different civilisations and nations.
Esmael Noori, at the stall of World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, says: “The book fair offers a very suitable opportunity to talk with many participating publishers and visitors about the objectives of our organisation, which seeks to bring people together”.
According to Mohsen Araki, General Secretary of the World Forum for Unity of Islamic Schools: “What makes the Prophet (pbuh) happy is the unity of people for supporting oppressed masses and what upsets the Prophet (pbuh), is the division”. He says the work of unity is a religious obligation.
Several publishers and visitors agree that Oman is a perfect role model of peaceful coexistence. Oman is a perfect role model of interfaith respect and peaceful coexistence.
According to Dr Bashir Ahmed, who has been here for the past two decades, “Oman is an island of peace in the ocean of troubles and crises all around. People of different faith living here face no discrimination and are respected. Moreover, people of different schools of thought within Islam live in harmony in Oman”.
SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER