The Participants of the Caux Dialogue Agreed on a Joint Declaration
Wednesday, 31. July 2002

The village of Caux, perched on an Alpine mountainside above Montreux, Switzerland,
was the venue, over the weekend of 26 - 29 July 2002, for an honest conversation among concerned Muslims and Non-Muslims on “Peace, Justice and Faith.”

The Caux Dialogue, co-chaired by Dr. Cornelio Sommaruga, President of Caux Initiatives for Change, and Professor Rajmohan Gandhi of India, was held at the Initiatives of Change International Centre and brought together 39 people from 18 countries in North Africa, North America, South Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Iran.
An aim of the Caux Dialogue, according to Mr. Gandhi, was to find clear strategies for overcoming hurdles facing the Muslim communities today. The participants agreed on a joint declaration, see the annexe.

The 2002 Caux Dialogue

Peace, Justice and Faith: An honest conversation among concerned Muslims and non-Muslims

Caux, Switzerland, July 26-29, 2002

Concluding statement

REAFFIRMATIONS

The 2002 Caux Dialogue reaffirms that

There can be no peace among nations without peace among religions and no peace among nations and religions without dialogue.

There can be no peace without justice, and no peace without forgiveness and compassion, and that no true forgiveness is possible with mental reservations.

There are values that human beings share irrespective of religion, nationality or ethnicity. These values include sanctity of life, freedom, equality, respect for human rights and international humanitarian law, commitment to cultural and religious diversity, human dignity, human development, democracy, the rule of law, equitable access to the earth’s resources and an equitable distribution of power

Among the prerequisites for a meaningful dialogue are active listening, honest acceptance of the other side, and acknowledgment of the Other's pain.

PERSPECTIVES

There was general agreement among participants on the following:

Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations is anathema
The war against terrorism should not be allowed to preclude people's right to resist occupation
Religion should not be invoked to justify violence of any kind or to justify discrimination and exclusion
The effects of September 11 are so far reaching that in some parts of the world it has now become fair game to target Muslims. Singling out members of a religious, ethnic, national or racial group for principal responsibility for violence is an offence to humanity that schools, neighborhood communities, faith-based groups, the media and governments must do everything to prevent, identify, and combat
People all over the world must take note of, and do their best to bring to an end, the killings and gross human rights violations in Palestine, Kashmir and Gujarat
Islam is not incompatible with modernity. What is needed is to create spaces for the expressions and explanations of Islam within a modern society
Democratization should be promoted within each country in the Muslim world and elsewhere and also in the world power structure

Muslims in societies with a non-Muslim majority can promote harmony by breaking out of their sometimes self-imposed isolation and interacting with non-Muslim neighbours
Modernization will be more effective and beneficial if it builds on appropriate indigenous traditions

There is a need for reforming the global economic system so as to promote development and justice in the world and prevent the perpetuation of poverty
UN resolutions and international law should be implemented without exceptions and double standards
Reconciliation among the peoples of the world is hampered by the arrogance of the powerful

RECOMMENDATIONS

To improve the relationship between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds, it was agreed that

The dialogue process should be sustained over time; that efforts should be made to involve wider sections of civil society and to influence public policy and decision making structures; and that the process should be proactive.

Future dialogues should focus on developing action scenarios for strengthening the relationship between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds.

Partnership with other ongoing dialogues should be explored.

Communication strategies should be devised to promote a better understanding of Islam in the non-Muslim world and, likewise, of the non-Muslim world’s values in the Muslim world.

There should be a promotion of regional dialogues within the Muslim world and within the non- Muslim worlds, including dialogues involving youth leaders, women leaders, persons of all faiths, and Muslims of different orientations.

STEERING GROUP

The Dialogue authorized one of its co-chairs and invitors, Prof. Rajmohan Gandhi, to form a steering group of five or six to consider next steps in the light of the perspectives and recommendations spelt out in this statement.

Christoph Spreng, Andrew Stallybrass

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