KUALA LUMPUR, January 23 – The Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM), held a Focus Group Discussion on the topic “Upholding Human Dignity For Peaceful Coexistence In Malaysia: Principles and Pre-Requisites” at IKIM’s Grand Hall. The programme was part of the Building Bridges series co-organized by IKIM, UID Sejahtera, Seminari Teologi Malaysia and Brigham Young University, Utah, USA.

It is organized with the aim to promote the importance of building harmonious relations and peaceful coexistence in multicultural societies. The concept of human dignity highlighted in this programme stressed on the importance of recognizing that human beings possess a special value intrinsic to their humanity. It abhors injustice and any forms of discrimination towards other human beings based on religion, race, colour, gender, language and nationality.

Upholding human dignity is central to the efforts of creating and sustaining peaceful coexistence in a society. The sharing of ideas and views by the invited scholars in the series were important as the programme also allows rooms for elaborative and knowledge-based discussions on the topic and to better understand the concepts of human dignity and peaceful coexistence from the multicultural perspectives.

The Focus Group Discussion also focused on achieving these objectives: i) to explain and examine the significant role of religion in peace-making and the importance of upholding human dignity in a multicultural society, ii) to analyze the various religious traditions and perspectives on human dignity and iii) to unpack from the various traditions the resources that would effectively contribute to mutual peaceful co-existence towards a just, harmonious and prosperous society.

To identify current challenges faced in the aspects of creating a harmonious and peaceful society in the context of Malaysia. IKIM hopes that the Building Bridges series will set the needed pathway to meaningful dialogues and foster mutual understanding among people of diverse cultures and religions on issues that are central to creating a peaceful and harmonious societies.