EUROPE MUST GIVE VALUES NOT EMPTINESS
A conference in the European Parliament
FR. CEZARY CHWILCZYŃSKI
In the European Parliament there was a conference devoted to the increase of religious radicalism and a dialogue among religions and political leaders of Europe. The meeting was attended by representatives of 3 monotheistic religions in Europe: Christianity, Judaism and Islam, who with the chief of the European Parliament Martin Schulz and euro-deputies and the vice-chief of the European Commission Frans Timmersmans, were talking about the increase of religious radicalism and forms of counteracting it through an interreligious dialogue based on fundamental right of every man’s dignity and freedom of faith.
An MP Elmar Brok, a chairman of Foreign Issues Commission of the Episcopal Conference stated that in the modern world religion is often used as a pretext in actions of fundamentalists and political extremists. There is no peace in the world, if there is no peace among religions. An orthodox metropolitan of France presented statistics which show that 70 percent of the Europeans live in the space where there is breach of religious freedom. Whereas, the rabbi of Rome Riccardo Di Segni reminded that Europe is an environment of coexisting various models of life and expressing various religions and belongs to basic rights, which are a fundament of our continent. There was a lot of interest expressed towards the speech of the Imam of France Hassen Chalgoumi, who called for protecting the majority from the extremism of the minority. Today it is important to gain hearts of young people who are experiencing a crisis of values, who, as emigrants, do not have a sense of belonging to various countries and live in the existential emptiness. Imam noted that at present 60 per cent of these young people searching for authorities through Internet, join ranks of the Islamic country. – Europe must give these people values which will fulfill their existential emptiness in the consumptive world – said Hassen Chalgoumi.
– Those who come to such meetings, are people who want to talk – the euro-deputy Jan Olbrychut sums up. – Hence, there are remarks of the representative of the Muslim world towards other Muslims who are very radical. This talk was extremely open, interesting and showed a good willingness of the talk, a good will of information exchange. – And what is the most important – a role of various religions in functioning of the European Union was emphasized.
The chairman of the European Parliament Martin Schulz judged this conference as one of the most important one among those which have taken place in the European Parliament recently. In his opinion, it should change into a constant platform of parliamentary actions. An interreligious dialogue is one of priorities which are emphasized by the European Parliament today, and its starting point is respect for every man and his dignity. The biggest civilization achievement today is respect as an alternative of contempt – said Schulz. An organizer of the conference was the European Parliament with cooperation of the European Commission.