Monday, December 01, 2008

The Slow Death of the Saudi Interfaith Dialogue Initiative

The Saudis appear to be reverting to the narrow definition of dialogue developed in June at the Mecca Preparatory Conference: that of dialogue as proselytization, rather than mutual and active listening. The U.N. Dialogue meeting is cited as "proof" of the monarchy's good intentions - thus letting the Saudis off the hook for any failure from this point forward. From here, I expect that the Saudi Interfaith Dialogue Initiative is quite dead. Only Minister of Culture and Information Iyad bin Amin Madani seems to consider dialogue as a means of rapprochement - assuming rapprochement isn't considered another euphemism for proselytization.

Curiously, although it is acknowledged that Muslim terrorists are the problem, the solution advocated is increased education of non-Muslims. How exactly is that supposed to help?

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