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MAAT organizes a seminar on religious tolerance and the UPR

MAAT organizes a seminar on religious tolerance and the UPR

Okeil: disseminating religious tolerance starts with the individuals. Worship houses, media and educational institutions should increase awareness on renouncing violence and intolerance

Pastor Dr. Gerges Awad: acknowledging sectarian violence is the first step to solve the crisis

MAAT for Peace, Development and Human Rights concluded yesterday a seminar entitled “religious tolerance and the UPR”, with participation of a large number of Alzawya Alhamraa residents at Alnoor city, this seminar comes in the context of MAAT interest to support the Egyptian state to fulfill its UPR voluntary commitments, and out of its keenness to integrate different areas in the efforts focusing on the UPR as an entrance to improve public policy and achieve human development in its comprehensive concept especially when it comes to disseminating the culture of religious tolerance, acceptance of the other and freedom of believe.

It is worth mentioning that Egypt fully accepted 223 recommendations out of 300 recommendations presented by the UN Human Rights Council member states during its second UPR session in 2014, partially accepted 24 recommendations, noted 29 recommendations and considered one recommendation inaccurate, where the accepted recommendations included relative ones to disseminating religious tolerance and freedom of believe, including recommendations to take more steps to ensure promoting tolerance, dialogue and mutual understanding on the local level;  encouraging initiatives seeking to promoting religious respect and tolerance and cultural diversity; enhancing social dialogue aimed at producing religious dialogue supporting he values of tolerance, social cohesion, and mutual understanding; promoting the protection of religious minorities rights, especially creating the necessary conditions to practice the freedom of worship; eliminating escaping from punishment for violating those rights; guaranteeing the respect of religious freedom or believe for all citizens; launching social dialogue to improve religious discourse by stressing of the positive values and the bright model for the Egyptian religious heritage.

The seminar organized by MAAT in cooperation with the Evangelical Baptist Church and Pastor Dr. Gerges Awad aimed at discussing some of the citizens’ complaints suffering from some social and service oriented issues to the UPR.

The meeting tackled the absence of law enforcement in the cases where one of its parties is a Christian and pursuing customary sessions to solve any crisis, where the pastor demanded the state to acknowledge the sectarian violence against Christians calling the state to acknowledge the sectarian violence against Christians, calling the state to change the policy of ignorance towards the Christians along with enforcing the law.

The discussion also addressed eliminating religious from the ID, amending the curricula and eliminating religious education inside the governmental schools, along with working with Alazhar to implement awareness programs working on disseminating the Islamic values, tolerance and acceptance of the other.

The discussion also stressed that most of the Egyptian population suffer from violence against women, children, and men themselves, as well as intolerance and not resorting to dialogue.

Ayman Okeil, president at MAAT ensured the foundation’s support to any activities seeking to disseminate the culture of peace, dialogue and denouncing intolerance and renouncing violence, where he added that social elements led to the extinction of human relationships, and that the current violence is resulting from a community failure.

Okeil also indicated that the difference between concepts led to intolerance and that the state will not be able to solve the issue under the current circumstances, ensuring that citizenship is the answer, and that civil society should work strongly with the extremists to review their thoughts to denounce violence, confirming that religious tolerance starts with individuals and that worship houses, media and educational institutions should increase awareness to denounce violence and intolerance.

Okeil demanded the implementation of president Abdel Fatah Alsisi recommendation regarding continuing the efforts to disseminate the correct religion and correct the religious discourse, along with spreading the Islam essence promoting tolerance, mercy, acceptance of the other, which contradicts the invitations to murder, destruction, sabotage and blind obedience. Along with paying attention to the individual and family as the basis for the community.

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