Pakistani NGOs Prominent at “One Family Under God” Event

Fauji Foundation director made “Ambassador for Peace” by Unification Church front organisation

From New Europe:

Bringing representatives from different faiths together on one platform, an “International Conference on Interfaith Dialogue towards Global Peace” unanimously passed a resolution last week “Brussels Peace Declaration on Religious Coexistence” at Peace Embassy Brussels, Belgium.

The conference brought together a number of organisations and individuals, including Muhammad Tahir of the Fauji Foundation, Willy Fautre of Human Rights Without Frontiers, and Bashy Quraishy of the European Network Against Racism. Two organisations in particular agreed to work together, and appear to have been the organisers of the event: the Institute of Peace and Development, which is a think tank concerned with Kashmir, and the Universal Peace Federation:

Philippe Jacques Chairman UPF said in his welcoming remarks, “We are one family under God, we have to promote understanding and tolerance between all faith and religions.” UPF will continue these efforts in future with INSPAD, he added. Amin ul Haq President INSPAD appreciated the valuable efforts and role of United Nations, UNESCO and UPF for the promotion of Inter-faith, Inter-cultural Dialogue and religious coexistence.

A press release from INSPAD in the Kashmiri Observer gives some further details, although the English is poor:

Two renowned NGO’s Universal Peace federation and Institute of Peace & Development (INSPAD) Belgium visited a Muslim mosque in Molenbeek and told that Inter-faith dialogue is the need of the time.

…The NGO’s officials Mr. Philippe Jacques, Mr.Hugo Veraxc of UPF and Mr. Amin ul Haq, Tahir Tabassum and Sardar Javaid Sarwer of INSPAD said that we must adopt peaceful & acceptable policies instead of raising religious controversial issues.

They expressed the NGO’s responsibilities are increased that they should play the role of Ambassador for Peace and promote Inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogues indeed. Both NGO’s have decided unanimously that they will visit all religious worship places for the promotion of Peace, understanding and tolerance.

The event also saw Fauji Foundation Director Muhammad Tahir receive the title of “Ambassador for Peace” from the UFP. The Fauji Foundation is a significant charity in Pakistan, and as I’ve observed previously (here and here), a remarkable number of statesmen and other prominent individuals from around the world have chosen to accept the honour of becoming a UPF Ambassador. The Universal Peace Federation is a front organisation the Unification Church, and while the public rallying-call is for “one family under God”, less emphasis is put on the fact that the “one family” also has one True Father on earth: Rev Sun Myung Moon. Prominent participants in UFP activities are a massive boost to Rev Moon’s credibility, and their involvement serves the long-term strategic interests of the Unification Church.

The website of the World Council of Churches explains that a “Brussels declaration” on inter-religious cooperation appeared back in December 2001:

An international conference “Peaceful coexistence between the great monotheistic religions” was held in Brussels, 19-20 December 2001, at the invitation of His All Holiness Bartholomew, the ecumenical patriarch, and His Excellency Romano Prodi, president of the European Commission. In a declaration, “The peace of God in the world: towards peaceful coexistence and collaboration among the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam”, participants affirmed “the will of God is for the peace of heaven to reign on earth” and that such peace is not merely the absence of war but also the gift of abundant life. Thus “there is indeed an immediate and inseparable connection between peace and justice.” The statement emphasizes the need for education, communication, dialogue, and respect to enhance understanding of religious communities and their beliefs.

The full (and somewhat platitudinous) text can be seen here. Details are scarce, but one assumes that the “Brussels Peace Declaration” now being promoted by the UPF is the same document.

The UPF/INSPAD conference took place around the same time as a UPF “Global Peace Festival” in the Philippines. That event saw Martin Luther King III share a stage with Rev Moon’s son Hyun Jin Moon. Again, the slogan was “one family under God”. A particular concern with Kashmir would complement Moon’s interest in bringing peace to the Middle East.