The Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders, Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, was awarded an honorary professorship by the Eurasian National University in the Republic of Kazakhstan, in recognition of his efforts in promoting and enhancing the values of dialogue, tolerance, fraternity and coexistence. The university held a special ceremony in the presence of Dr. Yerlan Sydykov, the Chancellor of the Eurasian National University, along with several professors and students.
At the beginning of the ceremony, Dr. Yerlan Sydykov expressed the university’s appreciation to Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, the Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders, and to the message of the Council, led by His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, for their efforts in promoting and strengthening peace in Muslim and non-Muslim societies, as well as disseminating the values of dialogue, tolerance, and acceptance of others.
In his speech, Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam said, “I have come to you from the United Arab Emirates, a nation that has managed to export tolerance and human fraternity to the entire world, whilst becoming a role model for promoting the values of dialogue, coexistence, and human fraternity.”
He also expressed his immense joy to be present in Kazakhstan, a country known for its rich civilization, diversity, progress, and development in various fields. He praised Kazakhstan’s efforts in promoting dialogue and coexistence among followers of different religions and cultures.
The Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders further praised the Republic of Kazakhstan for promoting dialogue and coexistence among followers of different religions and cultures, exemplified by its organization of the World and Traditional Religious Leaders Conference. The seventh edition of the summit took place last year and was attended by His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, as well as His Holiness Pope Francis, Pontiff of the Catholic Church, along with various leaders and representatives of global and traditional religions from around the world. This unique event, hosted by Kazakhstan every three years, reflects the nation’s belief in the significant role of religious leaders in promoting and enhancing the values of dialogue, coexistence, and peace.
Judge Abdelsalam dedicated his honor to Al-Azhar, the fortress of knowledge and scholars, where he learned and grew up embracing moderation, diversity, pluralism, and accepting others. He also dedicated it to his mentor, the Grand Imam, His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, who instilled in him the love of goodness and the promotion of dialogue, coexistence, and helped him down the path of peace and human fraternity.
During a meeting with the university’s students, the Secretary-General emphasized that dialogue is the only means through which visions and ideas can be exchanged. He stressed the importance of comprehensive dialogue in managing human relationships at all levels, from the most personal to international relations between nations and communities. He pointed out that diversity is a characteristic of the universe and a law of human society, and its impact lies not only in preserving the balance of human civilization with its diverse components but also in enriching and highlighting its strongest and most beautiful aspects, contributing to human advancement and well-being.
Judge Abdelsalam further highlighted that in today’s world, with its diverse civilizations and identities, the paths of communication between societies and the dialogue among cultures and nations cannot achieve their goals without a strong presence of universities with their visions, projects, and students with knowledge, questioning, dialogue, and creativity. They are the repository of our aspirations for the future and the questions that should be posed and discussed in order to find answers that make our world a better place.
The Secretary-General clarified that the Muslim Council of Elders works to derive wisdom in all societies as a source of independent and purposeful will for those societies. He emphasized its crucial role in managing diversity through the roles of the council’s members, who all strive to address common global challenges. These challenges can only be overcome by choosing constructive convergence within diversity or by avoiding fragmentation that threaten not only constructive diversity but also our shared human existence.
In conclusion, Abdelsalam also addressed a message to the participating youth, emphasizing the importance of embracing hope and perseverance in pursuing the path of knowledge with determination and confidence in human capabilities to face challenges. He highlighted the abilities and capacities that Allah bestowed upon humans, along with the guidance and enlightenment, as the most valuable asset and the most precious trust that we bear for the sake of a better future.
The Eurasian National University is one of the most important universities in Kazakhstan and the largest educational institution in Astana. The university has previously honored several influential figures for promoting peace and coexistence, including His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, who was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2018.