Dr. Al-Marri: “Cultural and civilizational diversity is a gain for humanity and a heritage that should never be distorted or destroyed”.
The Spanish capital, Madrid, witnessed the inauguration of the 7th edition of the Exhibition of Arabic calligraphy about ‘Human Rights in Islamic Culture’. The inauguration took place in the presence of Dr. Ali Bin Smaikh Al Marri, president of the National Human Rights Committee in Qatar; Ambassador Pedro Martínez-Avial, Director of the Arab House “Casa Arabe” in Madrid; Ms. Eva Martinez Sanchez, Director of Maghreb and Africa Affairs at the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs; HE Mohammed bin Jaham Al-Kuwari, Ambassador of Qatar in Madrid; Spanish dignitaries, representatives of civil society organizations, and a number of diplomats, intellectuals, media and Spanish and foreign academics.
A window to introduce Islam and spread dialogue and tolerance.
The exhibition opened its doors to different sectors of Spanish society, as well as Arab and Muslim communities living in European countries. Over the past years, the “Calligraphy on Human Rights in Islamic Culture” exhibition has become a powerful window for introducing Islam, promoting a culture of peace and tolerance, and dialogue between religions and civilizations that the State of Qatar calls for in the international arena, to counter the culture of incitement and violence that contributed to the spread of extremist ideas and organizations, as well as hate speech and attempts to attach the charge of terrorism to the Islamic religion. The exhibition also presented a true picture to the Western societies on the status given to human rights by the Islamic religion.
Condemning the terrorist attacks in Spain.
In his speech on this occasion, Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri, president of the National Human Rights Committee in Qatar, began his intervention by confirming his “strong condemnation of the terrorist attacks that hit the Kingdom of Spain which are not recognized by any divine religion, nor accepted by living conscience or acknowledged by religious teachings, for they are anomalous and hostile to humanity, declaring his solidarity in the face of these poisoned and destructive extremist ideas.”
Dr. al-Marri availed the presence of the distinguished audience of Spanish Foreign Ministry officials, representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited to Madrid, and a number of intellectuals and opinion leaders around the world, to denounce the blockade imposed on Qatar since June 5. He said, “The National Human Rights Committee holds this Exhibition at a time when the State of Qatar is being subjected to an unjust blockade that violates all human rights instruments and principles.”
On the ethical message to be conveyed by the Exhibition, Al Marri said, “The Islamic religion is committed to human rights and calls for respect for human dignity and freedoms. The message of Islam has come to consolidate the principles of justice and equality among all human beings and to end injustice, tyranny, racism and oppression. It further calls for peace and coexistence among all religions, sects, races and ethnicities.”
He added that “terrorism has no religion and no nationality, and that the actions of extremist terrorist groups who take religion as a cover for their abnormal and sick behaviors to achieve their despicable goals, are far from Islam and its moderate true message. These fanatical groups represent only themselves, and there is no doubt that the entire world has seen the bright face of Islam over hundreds of years.”
He also noted that “the treatment of extremism and terrorism does not consist of fueling the feeling of hatred of Islam ‘Islamophobia’ and the consequent discourse of intolerance and hatred, but rather the extension of bridges of cooperation and dialogue between different religions, cultures and civilizations. Such treatment also can be through the search for, showing and pinpointing the common human heritage and values.”
Spain .. the gateway of Islamic civilization.
Dr. Al-Marri lauded the historical role of Spain and said, “Spain has played an important role in achieving the coexistence of civilizations and communication between different cultures, ideas and beliefs. It is the gateway through which Islamic civilization has spread in the fields of science and literature throughout Europe, and perhaps the remaining Islamic monuments in Spain to this day the greatest witness to that.” He concluded, “This exhibition is a message to the world. We do not mean it to speak or defend Islam, but just to stress that we are keen to show common values and commonalities; and you yourselves may judge that.”
Ambassador Mohammed Bin Jaham Al Kuwari, to Madrid: “Spain has always been a space for coexistence and understanding between different peoples, cultures and religions”
Ambassador Mohammed bin Jaham Al-Kuwari, Ambassador of Qatar to Madrid, praised the exhibition “The Arab Calligraphy on Human Rights in Islam,” adding that “The sample presented to us in this exhibition depicts what was in the past, what can be in the present, and what should be in the future. Each painting includes verses from the noble Quran and quotations from the sayings of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.”
On the importance of Madrid hosting the exhibition, Ambassador Mohammed said, “The hosting of this exhibition in Spain is a real motivation for happiness and an emphasis that the Arab culture has had a very prominent presence in this country since ancient times. Spain has always been a space for coexistence and understanding between different peoples, cultures and religions. At present, the country continues to play a very important role in this regard, due to several factors, most notably the remarkable work done by the Arab House ‘Casa Arabe’.”
Ambassador Pedro Martinez-Avial, Director of the ‘Arab House’ in Madrid:
“Qatar witnesses a dramatic shift in the defense of human rights”
Ambassador Pedro Martinez-Avial, Director of the Arab House in Madrid, praised the exhibition by saying, “I am honored to be present at this wonderful exhibition with the message it is addressing. As you know, promoting peace and defending human rights are key points in Spain’s policy. My presence at the exhibition emphasizes this.”
Ambassador Pedro added “Qatar has witnessed a remarkable transformation in the defense of human rights, and it is participating in many human rights forums, whether in the Arab world or internationally; this is clearly said by Dr. Ali Bin Smaikh Al Marri.” He concluded by saying: “Islam is a religion of peace and a religion of dialogue between all religions. The noble Quran and the Prophet’s sayings and teachings prove that in the essence of Islam there is an invitation to dialogue and understanding between religions and respect for human rights. I am happy that this message is the theme of this exhibition.”
Art is an upscale and effective message for the introduction of Islam
Mr. Nazmi Yousef, member of the administrative board of the Madrid Press Club, said:
“The exhibition is one of the most important ideas that explain the truth of Islam with a high-quality artistic message, and it is important to address the Western world with the message of art to introduce Islam, even though the Exhibition coincides with the week-end and under the conditions Spain is witnessing.”
Mr. Mahmoud Sobh, Tenured professor at Complutense University of Madrid and winner of Qatar’s Award for Translation, said:
“The exhibition is a beautiful promotion for the Islamic religion, reflecting the fact that it is a true religion of peace and tolerance. Most of the audience today are intellectuals, poets, writers and authors, in addition to diplomats. This reflects the attention paid by the elite of Muslim societies to the Exhibition of Human Rights in Islam.”
Positive comments expressed by participants in the exhibition
Mr. Aleksandra Yanichkova, a Slovakian citizen, said:
“It’s great that the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar is interested in organizing an exhibition that addresses Islam’s respect for human rights, because many people in the world do not believe in that. In addition, persuading the world of this fact via an art exhibition is a sublime message to educate peoples.”
Ms. Francesca Blanca, a Spanish artist,
noted that she had enjoyed the paintings in the gallery, and said. “I am an artist, and I am well aware of the extent to which art is capable of educating the people; hence is the importance of this exhibition introducing the status of human rights in Islam.” She added: “This exhibition is a great step to spread a culture of tolerance, and through dialogue and tolerance we spread the culture of peace in the world. So, all the appreciation goes to the National Human Rights Committee and the State of Qatar for this wonderful exhibition.”