25 Recommendations about the Role of Religions in Syria towards the challenges of Solidarity, Reconciliation & Peacebuilding, done by Christian and Muslim religious leaders from Syria for policy makers, donors and faith based actors

Executive Summary of the



February 2017

In recent years, international efforts to deal with violent extremism have expanded to encompass not just the countering of extremism, in a security context, but also the prevention of violent extremism, or PVE.

Religious communities and religious leaders have been identified by the UN as playing a crucial role in PVE. Key tasks identified in this context include: providing a platform for intra and inter-religious dialogue; promoting mutual understanding between people of different religions; vocally rejecting pro-violence doctrines while espousing peaceful and humanitarian values; preserving the heritage of cultural and religious diversity; guarding against religious-based discrimination or intolerance and sharing good practice.

This paper is based on an integrative approach involving experts, community actors and grassroots leaders and activists from the international scene.   

The aim is to build resilience in the face of terrorist groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) and Boko Haram as well as other types of violent extremism including Neo-Nazis groups. The frame here is the phenomenon of radicalization leading to violent extremism and the role religion/s can have in helping to address the issue.

An inter-religious or multi-religious approach to PVE can ensure greater effectiveness in countering extremism because it removes stigma or blame on any one religion, and facilitates a more open, beneficial discussion about the issues faced. Such a collaborative, integrative approach is also a deliberate counter to the extremist agenda of discrimination, isolation, destruction and hate.

This white paper aims to encourage and generate discussions needed for policies and initiatives to make strategic collaboration a reality. It is an open, proactive process to be continuously enriched and updated based on evolving experience and expertise.

The paper comprises three sections. The first looks at the concept of extremism and the radicalization process. The second explores the relationship between religion and extremism. The third identifies four priority areas for interreligious collaboration in addressing radicalization and violent extremism, while highlighting existing good practices and initiatives that could be amplified and built upon. First, strengthening social cohesion through each religious community upholding its Religious Social Responsibility. Second, fostering literacy about religions and education on citizenship inclusive of religious and cultural diversity. Third, promoting an existential religious narrative rather than an essentialist one in response to extremism, especially through the media. Fourth, setting up interreligious platforms for dialogue and common civic engagement for shared public life values and for interfaith solidarity, especially among the youth. 

Civil Society Dialogue on Citizenship in Lebanon and its Dimensions Report

This report is the outcome of two workshops entitled “Citizenship in Lebanon: from problematics to anticipated transformation” organized by the Institute of Citizenship and Diversity Management at Adyan foundation with activists and experts from civil society. The discussions in these workshops, with CSOs focusing on these domains, were on: Democracy, Human Rights, Equality, Gender, Diversity, Identity, Memory, Participation, Accountability, Economy, Development, Environment and Refugee crisis.

The report presents thus, in Arabic, the papers shared during these two workshops and a summary of the discussion that followed each of the axis.

Code of Conduct for Media Coverage of Freedom of Religion and Belief written by Journalists from Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq and available in 3 languages : Arabic, English and French

The Beirut Declaration is the outcome of a regional meeting organized by the Institute of Citizenship and Diversity Management at Adyan Foundation and the Arab Thought Forum, held in September 2016, gathering 50 educational policy experts from Iraq, Bahrain, the Sultanate of Oman, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia and Lebanon. It is published here in both Arabic and English versions.

This booklet is a comprehensive report on a project entitled “Civil-religious dialogue on religious freedom” that aims at contributing to the deepening of religious reflection and discourse about religious freedom, to fostering mutual understanding and emulation in view of building a shared narrative around the issue and its correlated topics between religious and secular thought. The project took for starting point the valuing of the already existing Islamic and Christian religious initiatives in this regard, especially reference texts about religious freedom issued in the past decades by religious authorities, namely the Beirut Declaration on Religious Freedom issued by the Makassed Philanthropic Islamic Association, the Declaration on Freedoms published by Al-Azhar and the Declaration on Religious Freedom issued by the Catholic Church in the second Vatican Council. The project was also founded on a methodology of dialogue between academics and experts in philosophy, politics, law and social sciences on the one hand and Islamic and Christian religious scholars on the other hand, placing civil and religious reflection next to each other instead of vis-à-vis each other in confrontation, with the aim that this proximity and in depth dialogue would redefine and identify problematics to be taken into account regarding religious freedom in both the academic and religious discourse.

A book in Arabic representing the acts of the seminar will be published, and the below report contains the summary of the book, an account of the discussions that have taken place within the seminar that gathered the civil and religious experts, and new perspectives that this dialogue was able to open for further research and discussion.