IDU Vice-Chairman Peter Hintze MP, Parliamentary State Secretary of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, at the meeting of IDU’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs in San Salvador, El Salvador, 31 October 2007 held the keynote speech on challenges with regard to the Muslim world and the West.
He pointed out that unlike a widespread public perception, the Western and the Muslim world are not opposite blocs. At least in Europe, the Muslim world starts at home, and vice versa, there are many influences from Western civilization in the Muslim world. Besides all differences, Christianity and Islam have important patterns in common, such as compassion, caring for the poor, striving for peace.
The IDU Vice-Chairman underlined that the overwhelming majority of Muslims rejects violence. According to a survey published by the Washington based Pew Research Center in July, Muslims around the world increasingly reject suicide bombings and other violence against civilians in defence of Islam and support for al-Qaeda leader Osama bin-Laden has decreased. Most notably, the survey finds a large and growing number of Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere rejecting Islamic extremism. At the same time, many people in Muslim countries see the Sunni-Shiite tensions as a growing problem for the Muslim world.
- As the reasons for the antagonisms between the Western and the Muslim world are manifold, the remedy needs to be differentiated, said Peter Hintze. In his keynote speech he pointed to mainly three tracks to mitigate the tensions: Conflict solution, development, dialogue and cooperation.
For the full text of Peter Hintze’s keynote speech on the Muslim world and the West, see the attached PDF-file: IDU Westen Muslime Final, 31.10.07.pdf