The Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain in the United States of America held an Iftar banquet on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan with a symposium on the importance of dialogue and convergence, highlighting the history of a moderate Islam of coexistence of different religions and beliefs, as well as reflecting contemporary examples of tolerance and religious coexistence in the Arab and Islamic world. The event was attended by officials of the US administration, members of the US Congress, diplomates, members of think tanks, universities, corporations and non-governmental organizations.
The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the US, Shaikh Abdullah bin Rashid Al Khalifa, delivered a speech, in which he welcomed the guests and congratulated them marking the advent of the holy month of Ramadan. He spoke about the values of coexistence and tolerance in the Bahraini community, stressing that religious and cultural pluralism is rooted in the Bahraini social fabric and has been strengthened under His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
He added that His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has always been on ensuring respect of religious freedoms, which has directly reflected on the Kingdom of Bahrain's coexistence and cohesion, thus became an integral part of HM the King's reform approach, making the Kingdom an example for the world to show a different route from the extremist projects that some of the stray groups in the region are trying to impose. He further stressed that the Kingdom of Bahrain has firm stance in respecting religious freedoms, as well as promoting the values of tolerance and coexistence, as affirmed by the Kingdom of Bahrain's declaration of religious freedom issued by His Majesty the King in 2017.
The symposium was attended by the Director of Islamic Studies at George Washington University Prof. Mohammed Faghfoory, President of Coexist Foundation, Dr. Tarek Al Gawahary, and moderated by Dr. Kent E Davis-Packard of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. They highlighted examples of Islamic history in which different religions and beliefs coexisted freely and other contemporary examples such as the Bahraini model, stressing that the violent extremism of some groups is not exclusive to a particular religion or belief.
At the end, the audience praised the religious tolerance in the Kingdom of Bahrain and appreciated being invited to a Bahraini iftar banquet. For his part, the Ambassador thanked the audience for sharing their iftar with their Muslim brothers.