Written by Nayla Barakat
Manama, May 31 (BNA) The King Hamad Global Center for Peaceful Coexistence won the awards in the first conference between the European Union and Bahrain to be held under the slogan “Expanding the Tent: Freedom of Religion and Belief”.
Mary Jo Shar, the team leader in the EU-GCC Political Dialogue, Cooperation and Communication Project, said on Tuesday that the King Hamad Global Center for Peaceful Coexistence was one of the inspiring and key drivers between the EU-GCC project on religious harmony.
She said that “the EU-Bahrain conference entitled “Expanding the Tent: Freedom of Religion and Belief” is being held in Manama within the framework of the regional project funded by the European Union called the Political Dialogue Project between the European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council, which covers all the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.” .
She added that the project aims to strengthen the relationship, deepen dialogue and seek understanding between the European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries at the regional and country levels in many areas, including interfaith dialogue.
“It has been very exciting for us to work with the King Hamad Global Center for Peaceful Coexistence, and this is Bahrain in organizing this conference on FORB, from a perspective that is critical, honest, and at the same time constructive, aiming not to shy away from any of the complexities of this topic – particularly In a time and region where religious identities are often mobilized, let alone manipulated, for political or other reasons.
In this sense, we want to emphasize the courage of the King Hamad Center for Peaceful Coexistence, and His Majesty King Hamad himself, to move forward and talk on this complex path towards greater freedom for all and an increased level of satisfaction in life. – and to do so jointly with the European Union and its member states.”
As stated in the concept note, the European Union pays close attention to these developments, given its difficult history in FORB matters and the bold measures that member states have to take to change their structural ways of dealing with religious minorities, she said.
“The second session, based on the Fishbowl methodology, seeks to identify the challenges we identify for promoting FORB from an EU and Bahrain perspective, as well as potential developments, in setting up a conversation with the audience. We are evaluating. We are not designing solutions yet, but please do not limit Yourself to come up with great ideas.
Wednesday’s session will bring together academics who will discuss FORB’s future policy strategies from the EU and Bahrain perspective. This will be about giving food for thought for the next session.”