IIFA Secretary General delivers a speech at the opening Session of the Youth and Women Summit in Nouakchott
20 January، 2023

At the kind invitation of His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Mahfoudh bin Bayyah, President of the Abu Dhabi Peace Forum, His Excellency Professor Koutoub Moustapha Sano, Secretary General of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy (IIFA), participated in the Third African Conference for the Promotion of Peace organized by the Abu Dhabi Peace Forum, during the period 24 -26 Jumada II 1444H, corresponding to 17-19 January 2023G, in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott.

The conference was held under the high patronage of His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Ould Cheikh Al-Ghazwani, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, and in partnership between the Mauritanian government and the African Forum for the Promotion of Peace, which is one of the initiatives of the Abu Dhabi Forum for Peace in the United Arab Emirates. This year, the conference chose the slogan “Enter all in peace,” praising the Emirati model of tolerance and coexistence, calling for inspiration in developing strategies and plans to promote peace in Africa. The conference recalled the great importance of uniting the efforts of the continent’s scholars in confronting the currents of extremism and violence and keeping pace with the efforts of governments in establishing an intellectual front to defend the homelands by spreading stability and extinguishing the flames of wars fueled by conflicts and hatreds.

The conference also witnessed the holding of the “Youth and Women… Peacemakers in Africa” summit, chaired by Her Excellency the wife of the President of the Republic, the First Lady Dr. Maryam bint Mohammad Fadel Al-Dah, and the participation of dozens of youth and women leaders, in the presence of a group of government officials and African scholars, where the summit stressed the need to enhance and activate the role of youth and women in building local peace, and to contribute to policy-making and building partnerships to enhance the stability of societies and maintain peace in them, calling for encouraging the education of young men and women and girls and enabling them to achieve their aspirations and contribute to building nations. In his speech at the opening of this summit, His Excellency the Secretary General praised the organizers of the conference, led by His Eminence Sheikh Abdullah bin Mahfoudh bin Bayyah, President of the Forum, for their blessed efforts in promoting peace, tolerance and dialogue and consolidating these universal principles throughout the African continent to defuse wars and conflicts and spread security, safety and stability. He also commended the Islamic Republic of Mauritania for adopting and hosting both the conference and this summit, noting the importance of the summit and the centrality of the issue of youth and women to the Ummah and the utmost importance the Academy attaches to this issue, and stressing the Academy’s belief that it is one of the most important issues that should receive the attention and care of the Ummah’s peoples, as it is considered the basis for the development, progress and development that states and nations aspire to, “Women and youth are the pillar of society and the stronghold and impregnable barrier in which civilized societies take refuge in order to achieve renaissance, progress and prosperity, and in order to ensure their security and stability. There is no stability for nations without their stability, and there is no progress for people without their progress, which makes it inevitable to enable these two important groups to participate effectively in leading and pioneering civilizational and development efforts.”

In this context, His Excellency explained that the Academy is working diligently and firmly to correct misconceptions, especially with regard to the issue of women and their position in society based on the provisions of the texts and the practices of the greatest Messenger, may God bless him and grant him peace, and the established universal rules that stipulate that the assignment is general for both men and women, and that undertaking the task of succession on earth and building the universe is a joint responsibility between men and women. His Excellency pointed out in the meantime that the issue of women’s education and their participation in building nations is a settled issue in Shariah, and only the ignorant can argue about it and deny it because of the clarity of the texts contained therein. Therefore, His Excellency called for the empowerment of both sexes from all types of education and work, and from participating in leadership and entrepreneurship, and concluded his speech by saying, “It is time to move from theoretical talk about the importance of the participation of these two important groups, which represent the basis of progress, development and prosperity, to serious work of enabling them to play their due role. Let us agree that from now on, there will be no ignorant young person deprived of education, nor an educated young person unemployed, and far from decision-making centers. The time has come that no woman remains ignorant and deprived of education, or an educated woman unemployed and deprived of participation in building and progress efforts. Let us all remember the saying of Al-Faruq: If a mule stumbled in Iraq, God would ask me about it, why didn’t I fix the road for it. By analogy, if a young man or woman was deprived of education, learning, and active participation in development and progress efforts, God would ask us about them why they were deprived and denied these two sacred rights.”

The activities of the forum were marked by a remarkable official and popular interactive momentum, with a youth and women majority attracted by the titles of the themes that discussed topics related to the geography of crises, dialogue and reconciliation, correcting concepts, development on the road of peace, and the present and future of women and youth. The conference halls were filled with large crowds led by ministers, representatives of international organizations, officials of Islamic organizations, Ambassadors, representatives of government agencies, international centers and organizations, muftis, scholars, judges, thinkers, academics and media professionals.

The closing statement of the forum appealed to the major countries friendly to Africa and international organizations to support peace and development efforts in the continent and recommended the establishment and organization of peace convoys led by imams and notables of different ethnicities and tribes to be messengers of harmony and peace in areas suffering from civil wars and bloody conflicts.

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