Saudi Arabia: King Salman Launches Coalition to Heal Sectarian Divides at Historic Ramadan Conference

Makkah, Saudi Arabia, March 17-18, 2024 –In an unprecedented gathering near the Sacred House of Allah, the King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, hosted the Global Conference for Building Bridges between Islamic Schools of Thought and Sects.

This landmark event, taking place during the Holy Month of Ramadan, marks the most significant effort to bridge sectarian divides in the Islamic world by forming a ground-breaking committee dedicated to uniting diverse schools of thought and sects under the ‘Charter of Cooperation and Brotherhood.’

Under the patronage of His Eminence Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, Secretary-General of the Muslim World League, and with the participation of, including prominent representatives from Shia, Sunni, and Sufi sects, the conference addressed key issues affecting the global Islamic community: including extremism, exclusion, and radicalism.

In a time where the Islamic world is threatened by conflict and ideological strife, the conference aimed to build much-needed bridges, eradicate seeds of discord, champion the rich tapestry of Islamic diversity, and forge a new bond of Islamic identity which beholds the words prescribed by Allah Almighty: “And indeed, this, your religion, is one religion.”

In the opening speech, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia and president of the Council of Senior Scholars, Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh, said: “Islam is a religion of unity, commanding coalition and unity of word and rank, and warning against division and disagreement.”

Its timing is significant. Occurring during the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, the King’s ability to gather some of the worlds more prominent and respected Islamic faith leaders heralds a transformational shift in the struggle for peace throughout the Muslim world.

As His Excellency Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin AbdulkarimAl-Issa, Secretary-General of the Muslim World League, stated: “We are delighted in the MWL to launch the historic conference, the first of its kind, in the sacred precinct and blessed month, in continuation of the contents of the Makkah Document.”

Groundbreaking Outcomes

The conference saw the formation of the ‘Charter of Cooperation and Brotherhood’ which aims to unite various Islamic sects under one ideology. Specifically, the conference also saw the formation of a scholarly committee tasked with disseminating the Charter across the Islamic world in an unprecedented effort to unite sects under one common ideology.

This conference represented a significant step towards bridging differences within the Islamic community, rejecting extremism, promoting peace, and enhancing the Ummah’s contribution to global civilization. It reaffirmed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s role as the spiritual heartland for Muslims worldwide, serving as a beacon of Islam and a gathering place for the faithful.

Distinguished Guests

The conference included speeches given by scholars from Iran, Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkiye, Malaysia, Iraq, and multiple African nations.

Distinguished guests included:

·       His Eminence Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia

·       His Eminence Sheikh Mohammed Al-Mahi bin Sheikh Ibrahim Nias, President of the African Islamic Union

·       His Eminence Sheikh Dr. ShawkiIbrahim Allam, Grand Mufti of Egypt

·       His Eminence Ayatollah Sheikh Ahmed Mobaleghi, Member of the Assembly of Experts in the Islamic Republic of Iran

·       Eminence Sheikh Abdullah bin Mahfudh bin Bayyah, Chairman of the Emirates Council for Sharia Fatwa and President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies United Arab Emirates