International Interfaith Conference in Doha, Qatar on Religions and Hate Speech: Scriptures and Practices

The Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue (DICID) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar organized international interfaith conference on 24-25 May, 2022 in Doha. It was held under the patronage of His Excellency, Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani, the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.

Fr James Channan OP with the a few officials of the Government of Qatar

The Director Peace Center, Lahore Fr James Channan OP and Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad, Grand Imam Badshahi Mosque Lahore participated as delegates from Pakistan.  Conference began on Tuesday 24th of May at the Sheraton Doha Hotel with more than 300 attendees from 87 countries.  Religious scholars from the three monotheistic religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The participants included; civil servants, academics, heads of institutions, students, charitable institutions, civil society organisations, and representatives from the countries most affected by hate speech are attending in the conference. Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, inaugurated the exhibition accompanying the 14th Doha Conference on Interfaith Dialogue with the topic ‘Religions and Hate Speech, Scriptures and Practice.’ The event was organized by Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue (DICID).

During the serious dialogues and in-depth studies between the religious leaders and intellectual scholars present the conference came up with realistic proposals and initiatives, including efforts to confront all forms of hate speech, and achieve the lofty goal of meeting people of faith and specialists to open up horizons of dialogue and visions of understanding. Participants wished that peace and love may prevail among human beings of different religions, races and cultures. Two dangers are facing our world today the first is the unmistakable threat of terrorism: which people across the world have agreed upon to confront, and the second, which is not any lesser, is the escalation of the hate speech, grounded in exclusion and discriminatory behaviors, that classify people by their religions, gender or color.

Group photo of the participants of conference

The participants agree and emphasized that we need to admit that religious fanaticism is the main cause of conflicts facing our world today. Among other factors, they continue to erroneously understand the purpose of religions and God’s supreme objectives of creation, and so they use this mis-conceptualization to support their authoritarian outlook embedded in


Fr James Channan OP with Jewish and Muslim scholars during the session.

nationalism and religious hatred. Such doings have generated extremist models that fuel hate speech and reject intercultural and Inter-religious dialogue and consequently peaceful coexistence.

The Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue has so often called on for, through its conferences, to adopt an effective strategy to counter this phenomenon through religious and moral values and legal means, as the stability we desire in the world defends on the extent individuals and institutional consolidate these beliefs of peace and tolerance. We beliefs that the only way to combat hate speech is by eradicating its roots, and adopting the intellectual debate to recognize inherent appeals for sectarianism and racism and their rejections of others. Hence, the 14th Doha International Conference for Interfaith Dialogue discussed the theme “Religions and Hate Speech.  

Fr. James Channan OP is presenting his book Path of Love to His Excellency,
Bishop William Shomali, Bishop of Jerusalem.

Theme of three plenary sessions;

  1. Hate Speech: Causes, Drivers, and Risks
  2. Title Speech: Hate speech and the misinterpretation and the misrepresentation of religious beliefs and concepts.
  3. Types and Forms of Hate Speech
  4.  Desired Actions for Combating Hate Speech

There were plenary sessions as well as discussions and presentations in groups. All sessions extremely went on very well as we were able to hear scholars and religious leaders from all over the world who were very much concerned about the grave and very alarming issue of hate speeches, terrorism and militancy. Very famous scholars and believers of Christianity, Islam and Judaism presented rich speeches and papers on the various topics related.  

Guided by the contents of the papers and research presented, and the dialogues, interventions and discussions that took place during the conference sessions; the conference reached a number of recommendations, and issued a final statement.

DICID chairperson Dr Ibrahim Saleh al-Nuaimi read out the following final statement:

First: Emphasising that the heavenly religions call in their origins and legislations to love and peace, and reject all forms of hate speech, extremism, racism and discrimination based on religion, gender or race.

Second; Emphasising that confronting extremist ideology and hate speech is a humanitarian goal, and all efforts must be combined to counter this resulting extremist discourse at the level of individuals, institutions, and religious, intellectual and political leaders; by creating a peaceful and loving human and religious spirit, to build a peaceful civilized world.

Third: Condemning all forms and types of hate speech, and repudiating the practices of extremist groups that attribute themselves to religion amidst a lack of its essence and what it calls for.

Fourth: The necessity of taking all legislative means to set up a professional and ethical media strategy. To limit the use of media platforms and social media as platforms to spread hate speech, and to impose legal procedures on those platforms.

Fifth: Calling for the adoption of a proposal to be submitted to international organisations stipulating the necessity of developing educational curricula (especially in the adolescent stage), in order to in still correct religious values that call for respect and coexistence with the other, and to eliminate all that incites hatred.
Responsible religious leaders in their countries in particular must assume their responsibilities in that development, as stipulated in religious jurisdictions and teachings of a call to love and dialogue and the rejection of hatred and extremism.

Sixth: Warning against the existence of some forms of double discourse between those involved in interfaith dialogue; there should not be a discourse that a person addresses himself in following his religion, and another discourse that he addresses others with. If the speech is not straight, honest and real; it will be one of the most dangerous generators of hatred.

Seventh: Emphasizing that the phenomenon of Islamophobia and prejudice against Islam is not the approach of the many in the West, but it is rather the approach of the few who ignore the true knowledge of the essence of Islam, and also ignore the tolerant civilised relations between Muslims and other followers of other religions.

Dr. Mustafa Ceric Grand Mufti of Bosnia, His Grace, George Frendo OP, Archbishop of Tirana, Albania, Fr James Channan and Rev. Gregor Hohberg, Germany

Eighth: Emphasising the need to move from the dialogue stage to the stage of real and effective partnership between religious and dialogue institutions and civil society institutions so that they will have a unified voice against all forms of hate speech practices  

Ninth: Sending a unified message to the political actors in the international community about the need to unify all efforts to support oppressed peoples who suffer from hate speech and genocide. There is a need to speak out; protest, for rejection, solidarity, and even seeking through all possible means to help; when persecution or hatred occurs from one party against another, regardless of religion or gender.


Fr James Channan OP and Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad  presenting Byakko  Magazine published from Japan  to Prof. Dr Abraham Al-Naimi, Chairman of DICID.

The recipients of the Doha International Award for Interfaith Dialogue 2022 were announced by the Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue (DICID) in its fourth edition

 Group photo of the recipients of Awards

Three individuals and three institutions were named winners for their efforts to consolidate the principles and values of interfaith dialogue and for making ground breaking contributions to spreading a culture of tolerance, rejecting hate speech, advocating moderation, and other efforts to combat racism. During the inaugural session of the 14th Doha Conference on Interfaith Dialogue 2022, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs congratulated the winners. Dr Mohammed Khalifa Hassan of Egypt, Dr Sabrina Lei of Italy, and Bishop Malkhaz Songulashvili of Georgia are the award’s winners, while the British Woolf Institute, the Spanish Islamic Culture Foundation (FUNCI), and the German Side-by-side institution are the award’s winners.

Report prepared by:
Asher Nazir
Executive Secretary
Peace Center

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Peace Center is very important institution which is playing a significant role in spite of all the difficulties we are confronted with. A couple of Dominican Friars are active in Christian- Muslim dialogue and they are well known both nationally and internationally for promoting Christian-Muslim dialogue. It is top priority of the Dominican Order in the world and in Pakistan as well.
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