The act of dialogue among cultures and civilizations faces multiple theoretical and practical questions. Fundamental questions regarding civilization and culture, and the intellectual and scientific preoccupations in this regard should not be underestimated. I would like, however, to emphasize that the main objective for this initiative of dialogue among cultures and civilizations is in fact to initiate a new paradigm in international relations and those among human beings in our contemporary world. This necessity will be clearer when we compare it with the other paradigms which currently form the basis of international relations. It is through a fundamental and structural critique of these paradigms that the raison d’être for this new paradigm is identified.
We cannot invite people and governments to the paradigm of dialogue of cultures and civilizations without learning lessons from history, without thoroughly investigating the reasons behind major world disasters in the twentieth century and their continuation in the current one, and without passing judgment on the existing dominant paradigm which is based on a dialogue of power and glorification of might.
Dialogue among civilizations, viewed from an ethical perspective, is in fact an invitation to discard what might be termed the power oriented will, in favour of a love oriented one. In this case, the result of dialogue will be empathy and compassion. And the interlocutors will primarily be thinkers, leaders, artists and all benevolent intellectuals who are the true representatives of their respective cultures and civilizations.
Relying on shared principles, objectives, and threats in order to find shared solutions is a major step towards changing the existing situation and isolating the extremists who, by sanctifying violence and force, have spoilt the world for all its inhabitants regardless of their culture or civilization. ...