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Working for religious harmony

Jun 28,2018 - Last updated at Jun 28,2018

In a world dominated by political events, wars, interstate conflicts, and even interfaith frictions and disharmony, it is refreshing and encouraging that His Majesty king Abdullah was granted the 2018 Templeton Prize Laureate in recognition of his exceptional efforts to promote religious harmony, not only within Islam, but also between Islam and the other monotheistic religions. 

Ever since the launching of the Amman Message in 2004 that articulated the true features and elements of Islam and took a clear position against all acts of terrorism as repugnant to the true principles of Islam, and the findings and conclusions of the 200 religious scholars from 50 Muslim nations assembled  in the following year representing all schools of thought and jurisprudence in Islam and the 2006 follow-up initiative entitled “ A Common Word between Us and You”, and the 2007 open letter from Islamic leaders to their Christian counterparts based on the two common commandments “Love thy God, Love they neighbour”, and culminated in the UN General Assembly resolution declaring the first week of February of every year as the UN Interfaith Harmony Week”, all of which gave expression to the King’s own personal contributions and efforts to promote understanding and harmony  between  the three monotheistic faiths based on common spiritual values. 

The Templeton Prize, which was established in 1972 by the late philanthropist Sir John Templeton, is given annually to a person who made exceptional contribution to spirituality and spiritual dimensions of life in a world preoccupied by material pursuits. In bestowing this year’s prize to the King, the current President of the Foundation Heather Templeton, said on this occasion “His Majesty King Abdullah’s work is most inspiring”. 

The King, she noted, understood the importance of diversity within Islam and sought to bring harmony among them and between them and the other monotheistic religions. 

She described the King as a “spiritual entrepreneur”, shaped by temporal and political realities yet knows and appreciates the importance of spiritual values in mankind’s endeavours. 

Jordan, as indeed the rest of the international community, is proud of this international recognition of the King’s personal efforts to make Jordan a beacon of hope for interfaith harmony, and congratulates the King for this global recognition and appreciation.

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