Jan Figel, the special envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the European Union (EU), visited the Islamic Community in B&H on March 19th 2018.
On this occasion, as its contribution to the discussion on the roles of religion and religious communities in EU integration process and European societies, the Riyasat of the Islamic Community organized a round table discussion on Religion and Secularity in New Relations. The round table discussion was attended by Mr. Figel and leaders of religious communities, as well as academicians and theologians from numerous universities and faculties of theology from the entire B&H.
The round table discussion was based around the topic of implications and challenges of bringing religion to the forefront of social life in European and BH societies. The aim of the discussion was to raise awareness and mitigate the tensions between religious and secular worldviews, among different religions and within individual religions.
The round table discussion was attended by the Raisu-l-Ulama of the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina Husein effendi Kavazović, Metropolitan Hrizostom of Dabar Bosnia, Cardinal Vinko Puljić, the Archbishop of Vrhbosna, Jakob Finci, the President of the Jewish Community, and Jan Figel, special envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the European Union. In his introductory speech, the director of the Department of External Affairs of the Riyasat pointed to the importance of discussing religious phenomena in BH society and all potential tensions between different religions, between religion and secularism and within religion itself.
In his speech, Raisu-l-Ulama of the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina Husein effendi Kavazović said: „Religious practices of individuals are not always a reflection of what is written in holy books, regardless of whether those individuals are Muslims, Christians, Jews or others. We clearly witnessed that in the example of the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we continue to witness entire religious groups of Christians, Yezidis and Muslims in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Myanmar and other countries disappear. History continues to prove to us that the most devastating thing for human race are the spiritual walls raised between people. And they are raised by everyone: theologians, historians, politicians, nationalists, racists and others. Millions of innocent people have fallen in the shades of those walls. “