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  January 2003

Special Report
WMC's Colombo Declaration 2002 Call to Muslim Ummah to work for Justice and Peace

Report By Our Correspondent


The Executive Council of the World Muslim Congress (Motamar Al-Alam Al-Islami), in collaboration with the Islamic Centre of Sri Lanka, held a grand Muslim Assembly in Colombo at the Hilton Hotel on December 18 and 19, 2002 which was attended by more than 900 Muslim and non-Muslim guests, including WMC Council members. The star event in this history-making assemblage was the inspiring address delivered by Sri Lanka’s dynamic Prime Minister, Mr. Ranil Wickremesanghe, who paid rich tributes to Islam and quoted from the Holy Quran God’s command that “let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right and not what is wrong”. He spoke about the contributions of Muslims to human civilization and commended the role of the Muslims of Sri Lanka in national life. The theme of the Assembly was “Justice and World Peace”. The keynote address was delivered by WMC Assistant Secretary-General Dr. Hamid bin Ahmed al-Riffai. The WMC’s Vice-President, Mr. M.H. Mohamed, Minister of Western Region Development, and President of Sri Lanka’s Islamic Centre (which hosted the conference with WMC) addressed the gathering on the importance which Islam, as a religion of peace, attached to justice unto all of humankind. The WMC President, Dr. Abdullah Bin Omar Nasseef, spoke about the part played by the WMC in spreading Islam’s message of peace through inter-Faith dialogue. Among the galaxy of speakers who spoke in the Assembly were the leaders of Buddhist, Christian and Hindu religions of Sri Lanka; they laid stress on inter-Faith cooperation to promote peace. Other speakers included Mr. A. H. Mohammad Azwer, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs of Sri Lanka, Mr. Mir Nawaz Khan Marwat, Asstt. Secretary-General, WMC, Mr. Qutubuddin Aziz, Chairman, WMC Media Centre, Mr. Kamil Sharif, Dr. Habash and Dr. Mohamad R. Haniffa of Sri Lanka Islamic Centre. The WMC Secretary-General, Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq, presented the Colombo Declaration 2002 of the WMC Assembly on Dec. 19, 2002 which was unanimously passed. The outgoing office bearers of the WMC were re-elected for another 5-year-term. The WMC’s latest publication, History of the WMC, published by WMC Media Centre, Karachi, was distributed among the delegates and many guests and was highly appreciated. Given below is the full text of the WMC’s Colombo Declaration 2002:

Justice is road to peace
The humankind has ceaselessly yearned for a lasting peace that offers safety and security for all, so that world civilization can continue its progress, without fear from dreadful surprises which will destroy everything that has been achieved by human hands and minds. Yet the realization of peace remains elusive goal and a beautiful dream out of reach.

The two World Wars reduced many human achievements to ashes and claimed millions of lives of unarmed civilians who never took to the battle-field. Unfortunately, the world now witnesses new types of crises and conflicts. A variety of nuclear and biological weapons have been produced that will make the World Wars sound like a mere toy game. Major research centers and science laboratories continue to fashion new modes of mass destruction weapons. As if mother earth, with its vast dimensions was not enough to accommodate this unbridled enterprise, man turned his face to the outer space, and embarked on a new adventure, carrying with him his greedy ambitions and selfish pretensions for domination.

It is becoming an element in the strategic planning of industrially developed countries. As science is an open field for future experimentation, less developed countries were obliged to jump on the bandwagon of the “arms race” in a bid to protect themselves against the hegemonic pretensions of the mighty. Hence, in recent years a multiplication of the number of countries joining the so-called Nuclear Club has become evident. Many politicians are obsessed with the belief that the more stockpiles of weapons they have, the more powerful they would be, which will enable them to impose their will on the weaker people. The underlying dangers should prompt man in particular and society at large to cultivate responsibility and guidance to restrain corrupt inclinations and assist consolidate virtue in its battle against evil and the ultimate decay of the human race.