Promoting Coexistence and tolerance in Finnish Society, a Symposium

Helsinki statement

The Third Scandinavian Symposium was held in the capital Helsinki under the title “The Values of Tolerance and Coexistence in Finnish Society”. The symposium was organized by Alrisalah Scandinavian Foundation in collaboration with the Muslim Society of Finland, and with the participation of specialists from other Scandinavian countries as well as important figures from government, civil, religious and educational institutions in Finland.

The seminar included several dimensions where the speakers addressed the role of education, as well as the role of civil institutions, media, religious organizations and businessmen in promoting tolerance and coexistence between different fragments of Finnish society.

The speakers elaborated upon different aspects of endorsing these values together with good citizenship and justice in order to build a stronger society encompassing peoples of all colors, ethnicities and religions. The participants stressed the importance of cultural interaction within Finnish society, and holding more of these specialized seminars that address these common issues.

The participants also stressed the important role of official institutions in preserving coexistence, tolerance and the enactment of laws and legislation that will spread the spirit of tolerance, cooperation and the shunning of violence and extremism in all its forms.

Furthermore, the participants emphasized the importance of the role of Finnish Islamic institutions in clarifying the position of tolerance in Islam and its teachings, and in the work to educate Muslims, particularly in matters concerning the role of civilization in their country of Finland and in ensuring the participation in maintaining security.

Other discussed topics concerned the importance of integration to address issues like unemployment and seeking to work towards a stable and effective homeland.

The organizers praised the seminar initiative from Saudi Arabia’s King Abdallah Center of Interfaith Dialogue, and mentioned seminars and conferences held by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the fields of cultural communication and call for moderation and peace and security in the world.
They also praised the annual conference on religious dialogue in the state of Qatar and its significant positive impact in spreading the spirit of dialogue and cooperation between the followers of divine religions.

Attendees also praised the role of the Kingdom of Morocco in supporting the communities in Scandinavia by spreading goodness and moderation, and their contribution to and encouragement of tolerance, dialogue and coexistence in Scandinavian societies.
Finally, the participants recommended to continue holding such seminars on a permanent basis as a key step in building healthy relationships between different community groups.

Based on these proposals and recommendations Alrisalah Scandinavian Foundation has decided to organize 3 special courses about cultural communication for the benefit of Finnish imams and speakers in Helsinki. The Foundation will also work on opening a Finnish center for cultural communication in Helsinki.

Helsinki
Hussein Aldaoudi
CEO/ Alrisalah Scandinavian Foundation

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