The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, and the Custodian of Postmodern European Secularism, Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, on July 16 opened the World Conference on Dialogue in Madrid.
The aim of the event is to promote dialogue between the world's main religions, and, as some observers suspect, to establish a one-world religion based on Islam. More than 200 leaders of different religions [pdf], including Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Universalism, Marxism and Multiculturalism, are attending the three-day conference. Also attending are leading personalities specialized in dialogue and useful topics such as "life of human societies, international cooperation, human rights, security and peace and living peacefully together."
The conference is being organized by the Muslim World League (also known as the World Islamic League) following an initiative by King Abdullah, whose country is the birthplace of Islam, a religion of peace. The Muslim World League also happens to be the principal agent for the propagation of Wahhabi Islam in Europe. In 1987, it was elected as a "Messenger of World Peace" by the United Nations.
Saudi officials said Spain was chosen as the site for the gathering because of its historical symbolism as a place where Muslims and those Jews and Christians who paid the dhimmi tax lived in peace under Islamic rule between the 8th and 13th centuries.
The event will take place against a backdrop of tensions between the Islamic world and the West due to the intolerable intolerance of the latter. They range from restrictions on the use of the veil by Muslim women in some European countries to cartoons regarded as blasphemous by Muslims and the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The conference, which seeks to promote openness, consists of five closed-door round tables. They will be followed by a final communiqué to be issued on July 18.
The first session, titled "Dialogue and Its Religious and Civilizational Foundations," will be chaired by the secretary-general of the Millennium World Peace Summit. The session will touch upon touchy topics such as "Dialogue in Islam" and "Dialogue in Christianity."
The second session is titled "Dialogue and Its Importance in Society." A president of the World Conference of Religions for Peace will present a paper on "Dialogue and Interaction of Cultures and Civilizations," while the president of the Foundation for a Culture of Peace, will speak on "Dialogue and its Impact on Peaceful Coexistence." Other lofty topics for discussion include: "Dialogue and Its Impact on International Relations" and "Dialogue in the Face of Calls for the Clash of Civilizations and End of History."
The third session, titled "Common Human Values in Areas of Dialogue," will be chaired by the secretary-general of the World Conference of Religions for Peace. Featured speakers are the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); the secretary-general of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought in Iran; and the rector of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue at the Vatican.
The fourth session is titled "Evaluation and Promotion of Dialogue" and will be chaired by the secretary-general of the Jewish Congress in Latin America and the Caribbean. This session will cover topics such as "Muslim-Christian-Jewish Dialogue: Its Future & Horizons" and "Efforts of States and International Organizations in Augmenting Dialogue and Overcoming its Obstacles."
The fifth session is titled "Disseminating of Culture and Co-Existence of Dialoge." It will focus on topics such as: "Media and its Impact on Disseminating the Culture of Dialogue and Co-Existance."
The final communiqué will be read out by the assistant secretary of the Muslim World League.
Saudi Arabia hopes the conference will prove that it is trying to: 1) shed its international image of harboring a xenophobic religious establishment; and 2) moderate clerical conservatism that even objects to women driving cars.
According to Reuters, the conference offers Saudi Arabia a chance to declare its "openness and willingness to cooperate with the international community […] It marks a new direction for Saudi Arabia, whose Wahhabi Islam has come in for criticism internationally" after 15 of the 19 Arabs who killed some 3,000 people in the September 11 attacks in the United States were Saudis.
Abdullah al-Turki, the head of the Muslim World League and conference organizer, says: "Saudi Arabia, on whose ground the global message of Islam was launched, affirms to the whole world its openness and cooperation with the world community."
And then, just in case there was any doubt, al-Turki adds: "Islam requires Muslims to inform people about Islam as the final divine message that came after the previous prophets."
So why is the hyper-secular and hyper-tolerant Zapatero embracing one of the most theologically intolerant strands of Islam? And why is he turning Spain into a Saudi public relations rehab center? Zapatero (like his Saudi counterparts, but for different reasons) views Judeo-Christianity as public enemy number one because it is the main impediment to the realization of his vision for a socialist multicultural utopia in which everything goes. And he hopes his pact with Islam will accelerate Spanish history.
Zapatero and his socialist advisors believe Muslims are the "useful idiots" of the left. And Muslims believe Zapatero and his socialist friends are the "useful idiots" of Islam. Such is the future of Spain.