Ladies and Gentlemen, Your excellences, dear friends,
It makes me special honour and great pleasure to address you on the occasion
of anniversary of birthday of famous poet and philosopher of the East, Dr.
Muhammad Iqbal. His life and work represents an everlasting inspiration and
extraordinary contribution to dialog of cultures, to culture of dialog and
promotes better mutual understanding, among people of different religions,
cultures and civilisations.
In very beginning of the 21 century, changing world is faced with new
challenge, a challenge of globalisation with its different aspects:
economic, political, military, defence and security dimension, and of
course, cultural. Globalisation is common understood as threat or as
opportunity or both in the same time. The obvious fact about all could agree
is globalisation as a challenge for individuals and society as whole.
What outcome could bee from process of globalisation when differences with
respective values meet in certain society without previous experience of
multicultural interference? The particular question is why the cultural
conflicts emerges and how to settle them in such a society where is no long
tradition of diversity, and with immigrant population coming from societies
with different culture and values?
We have to admit that complex societies have no simple formula for function
in peace and harmony. But permanent dialog and respect for different values
increases mutual understanding and erases prejudices. Culture of dialog and
mutual respect should replace the monologue and xenophobia. We need an old
Latin sentence to live in daily life:" audiatur at altera pars"- let other
be heard. That's why dialog as way to listen others.
Intercultural dialog is "condition sine qua non" for sustainable and non
Taking need for dialog seriously, we in Bosnia and Herzegovina launched a
new initiative, in efforts to involve and strength intercultural and
interfaith dialog in society. New founded Inter religious Council summons
four leading representatives of main world religions: Christian Catholics,
Christian Orthodox, Islam and Judaism. The idea to act through inter
religious council is clear massage and true will expressed by religious
leaders to contribute the process of reconciliation in society and open the
door for broad dialog between different cultures and religions for better
mutual understanding. The main objective of its activities is to prevent
social conflicts and tensions based on misunderstandings and prejudices.
Identity of Europe and identity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, both are based
upon religious, cultural, ethnic and language differences.
But differences are inspiration for dialog not for conflicts; differences
are sources for mutual enlargement of political dialog, where diplomacy in
particular is involved and differences are inspiration for communications
and mutual understanding among the individuals, despite religious and
Our common aim is to learn living in harmony with differences. Intercultural
and interfaith dialog have to be broadly extended and promoted.
Mutual respect and understanding among social groups with different cultural
background involving the media, education system and non-government sector
in society, has key importance to achieve this aim. Enhanced policies of
cultural activities that comprise all those elements are proper instruments
for solving critical social disputes that could lead to serious conflicts in
Differences should understand as advantage, as welfare, that creates
diversity of cultural benefits. The role of different cultures and religions
for enhancing co-operation and dialog among individuals in certain society
and nations as well on global stage has never been so important as today.
Clear massages from Council of Europe and each member state, that tolerance
and good neighbourhood are necessary, have major influence to improve dialog
in Europe society and on the broad stage, as key for better understanding
and resolving difficult situations, and conflicts despite of political,
social, economical or cultural roots.
Bosnia and Herzegovina as European country that meets East and West, Islam
and Christianity, has the crucial interest to promote and enhance the
concept of multicultural society and expresses decisive commitment and
redness for co-operation and fully supports enlargement of intercultural and
interfaith dialog as our share to this process in next tree years,
especially, in 2008 , that is announced for Year of intercultural dialog.
Ending this speech, I would like to express my personal hope that life, work
and light of Iqbal s massage will be inspiration and enlightenment for new
generations to think and work towards world peace and humanity.