03/08/2012, 00.00
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Women in Iraq, guarantors of peace and coexistence between Christians and Muslims

by Joseph Mahmoud
Christian, Shiites and Sunnis religious leaders met in Geneva during the 19th session of the Human Rights Council. The participants raised the role of women and the family as elements of primary education. A document in five points to end sectarian violence.

Geneva (AsiaNews) - To promote national unity by eliminating the "majority-minority" concept and ensure compliance with the law, the principle of the civil state, and promote the spirit of tolerance and acceptance through meetings and seminars; valuing the role of women in family and society: These are some points contained in the declaration of intent signed by Iraqi Christian and Muslim religious leaders - Sunnis and Shiites - who participated in the 19th session of the Human Rights Council, which will run until March 23 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, the UN's European headquarters. During the session, participants stressed the "key" role held by the Islamic-Christian clergy in "spreading the culture of human rights to achieve peace and stability."

The Geneva symposium was attended by three leading figures in the Arab country: the Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk, Msgr. Louis Sako, Munir Sheikh Turaihi Iraqi Shiite researcher living in London and Shiekh d. Nassif Jubouri, Sunni scholar and imam based in France. They were also joined by Msgr. Silvano Tomasi, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations Office and institutions at Geneva, the Iraqi ambassador in Switzerland, Abdull Amir Hashim, the representative of the al-Hakim Foundation at the UN and Claire Amos, representing the World Council of Churches, along with representatives and delegates from different States.

Among the factors taken into consideration the importance of Iraqi women was also underlined. They are asked to "adopt a vision of open and proper education for their children ", which is based on the principles of "peace, dialogue and not violence." On the eve of the feast of March 8, when we celebrate the International Women's Day, the delegates wanted to revive the role of women - also in majority Muslim or Arab societies - in building a climate of coexistence and harmony. Adding to that the value of family as the first educational center of the human person.

At the conclusion of the meeting, these religious leaders issued a statement outlining the guidelines for a future Iraq in the name of peaceful coexistence between different faiths. Key to achieving this goal: spreading the principle of "national unity" without discrimination, and remove the "majority-minority" concepts to establish a "civil state" based on the law and institutions. The religious leaders of the community are asked to "deepen the principle of brotherhood", which guarantees "coexistence and national unity", to propagate "a spirit of tolerance and acceptance" through interactive workshops and programs, to support the "culture of dialogue" and finally, to organize "regular meetings" between religious leaders, to clarify "visions and perspectives."

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