Makkah Declaration looks to promote tolerance and coexistence

More than a thousand Islamic leaders have signed the accord, which supports moderate Islam

Muslims pray and gather around the holy Kaaba at the Great Mosque during the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, May 26, 2019. REUTERS/Waleed Ali
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Over a thousand Islamic leaders from 139 countries have given their seal of approval for the Makkah Declaration, an accord that attempts to promote coexistence between religions and cultures.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman received the final document, which looks to confront extremism through a renewed push to promote moderation in Islam, in Makkah on Wednesday and praised efforts behind it.

"[The Makkah Declaration encourages] the pursuit of moderation and a balanced understanding of the Quran, which aims to promote the grace and moderation for all of humanity,” said King Salman late on Wednesday night at Safaa Palace in Makkah, where he spends the final 10 days of Ramadan in prayer.

The declaration, signed by around 1,200 leaders and published by Saudi's state news agency Spa, promotes the “values of coexistence between people of different religions, cultures and ethnicities in Islamic countries" and looks to "achieve peace and harmony between the components of the entire humanitarian community".

Politically, the document recommends "non-interference in the internal affairs of states”, saying that doing so is an unacceptable breach of international norms.

It declares that religious and cultural differences are no longer a reason to justify conflict and should instead be used to improve co-operation.

It also condemns all forms of extremism and violence and places responsibility on states to combat terrorism by promoting “peace and moderation in the region".

Saudi will host two further summits this week – one for Arab League members and one for Arabian Gulf leaders to discuss the recent “aggression" towards the Kingdom and other Gulf states.