ASIA/JORDAN – Prince Hassan Bin Talal: the encyclical “Fratelli tutti” also applies to the Middle East

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Amman (Agenzia Fides) – Today, especially in the Middle East, the cradle of the three Abrahamic religions, one feels the need for a new “Social Charter” that supports the vulnerable and shows everyone the path to universal solidarity. The Encyclical “Fratelli tutti”, signed by Pope Francis on October 3 in Assisi in front of the tomb of St. Francis, responds to this urgency for the peoples of the Middle East and for all humanity and recognizes the brotherhood that binds all human beings. This recognition is the basis for new social relationships. With these words, Jordanian Prince Hassan Bin Talal expressed himself in a long commentary on the latest papal encyclical published by al-Arab, a newspaper in Arabic published in London. “The authoritative member of the Hashemite royal family, uncle of King Abdallah II of Jordan, has always been committed to Islamic-Christian dialogue, as President of the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies in Amman.
In his contribution, Hassan Bin Talal reminds that “Fratelli tutti” is in line with the document on “Human Fraternity” signed in Abu Dhabi in 2018 by Pope Francis himself and by Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb, Grand Imam of al Azhar. In the new document – notes the Jordanian Prince – the Pope calls on everyone to recognize that “God created all human beings and made them equal in terms of rights, duties and human dignity”. The bond of brotherhood that unites all people is the real antidote to all forms of aggression and any desire to oppress those belonging to other social or religious groups. In this regard, Hassan Bin Talal recalls the meeting between St. Francis and Sultan Malik al Kamil, which took place in the Egyptian city of Damietta in 1219.
The Jordanian prince emphasizes that the appeal to fraternity contained in the papal encyclical should not be reduced to vaguely sentimental rhetoric, but indicates ways in which the poor, the sick and the disabled can be effectively supported. “The world was created for everyone”, writes the Prince, “and we humans were all born with the same dignity on this earth”.
Hassan Bin Talal adds that the desire to live in peace and harmony with all human beings is expressed in many “Hadith” of the Prophet Mohammad, such as the one where it is said that “the believer is the believer’s mirror”. This aspiration – according to the Jordanian prince – embraces all differences and does not want to reduce everything to an indistinct unity: “We were all created starting from Adam, and we were called to accept one another as brothers. These heavenly messages demand respect for the individual and establish this respect as the basis for social relationships”. A fact that was made even clearer by the Covid-19 pandemic, which hit the whole world, strong nations and fragile nations and showed beyond a doubt that only human fraternity and social friendship can provide a solid basis to face the threats that affect all humanity”, concluded the prince. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 13/10/2020)


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