Interfaith Outreach of the Muslim World League: trends, causes and futrue directions
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AbstractThe Muslim World League is a nominally non-governmental Islamic organisation based in Saudi Arabia. From its founding in 1962 until relatively recently, it mainly focused on promulgating the archetypal Islamic fundamentals and practices across the Muslim world in line with the vision of the Saudi state. An early indicator that this mission was giving way to a more dynamic and, relatively, liberal position was an interfaith initiative by the league in 2008 that resulted in the Makkah Appeal. The league’s new interfaith programme was then introduced to the world ten days later when it convened the Madrid Conference. But it was not until 2016/2017 with the coming to office of its present secretary-general, Dr. Al-Issa, and the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, that the league radically expanded and diversified its interfaith dialogue initiatives. This article examines a mixed sample of these initiatives to give a sense of how the league’s interfaith programme has evolved in recent years. It then gives an analysis of the factors likely to be driving these changes, the aims they seem oriented to achieve, and what directions they might take in future.
Journal titlePolitics and Religion Journal