2002 Report (Continued)
Mustapha Tlili, Dialogues founder and director, opened the conference with a reminder that after the events of September 11, 2001, it is vitally important that people across the globe engage in meaningful discussion to promote cross-cultural understanding. According to Tlili, terrorism is fueled by a centuries-long history of discord coupled with misrepresentation of the Other in both Western and Islamic media today. The Dialogues program offers a chance for participants from the United States, Europe, and Islamic nations to address misunderstandings, discuss ideas, and propose solutions. Tlili urged the group of intellectuals, academics, political figures, and religious figures of all currents of thought to come together in the spirit of mutual respect and take this opportunity to refute the notion that “Islam” is a monolithic entity. Tlili explained the program’s goals of reaching common ground, doing away with historical stereotypes, and advancing an appreciation of the richness and variety that exists within Islam. The Granada conference is thus just the beginning of a long road toward mutual understanding. Tlili expressed his hope that as the program develops, an even broader spectrum of voices will join the global dialogue.Back to the top.