Symposium on the book by Dr. Heba Gamal El Din – ECFA Member “Spiritual Diplomacy and the Abrahamic Interfaith: Colonial Plan Of The New Century”
ECFA organized a symposium on July 28, 2021, in which Dr. Heba Gamal El-Din, a political science teacher at the National Planning Institute and ECFA member, presented her book entitled “Spiritual Diplomacy and the Abrahamic Interfaith: Colonial Plan Of The New Century “. The symposium was inaugurated by Ambassador Dr. Ezzat Saad, ECFA Director, noting that the issue of the shared common Abrahamic heritage is frequently raised, considering that the three monotheistic religions share one common spiritual heritage, called the Abrahamic Interfaith, as an entry that is marketed as carrying the meanings of goodness, human fraternity and tolerance, but it is now appearing on the contrary to its essence, given its politicization by international, global and regional powers with narrow interests, which has many repercussions on Egyptian and Arab national security.
Dr. Gamal El-Din pointed out that “Abrahamic religions” is a term that was introduced at the beginning of the third millennium to refer to the three monotheistic religions, within a new concept for resolving disputes and protracted conflicts based on intertwined religious dimensions, which is the concept of “spiritual diplomacy”, in which the Abrahamic faiths represent one of the most prominent pillars of this new concept.
Some even see it as an alternative proposal to Huntington’s “clash of civilizations’” theory and Fukuyama’s “the end of history” theory; Rather, it reflects a new approach within the science of international relations through the consolidation of new concepts such as universal tolerance, human fraternity, love and harmony, rather than conflict and dispute. However, there is still some skepticism about the significance of this spiritual diplomacy, and is it really pursuing world peace? Or is it just an alternative proposal to Fukuyama and Huntington that carries the same clashing goal that elevates the hegemony of the West and achieves its interests in the first place?
In this context, Dr. Gamal El-Din stressed the importance of completing the handling of the pillars of “spiritual diplomacy”, putting aside the disputed texts by re-reading the religious text, and translating it through what is known as “Track II diplomacy” or informal negotiations that bring the three religions’ clerics together, along with politicians and diplomats. However, she wondered about the possibility of linking this proposal with the efforts made by Israel to demand compensation from the Arab countries in which the Jews lived before their emigration from them. Is the goal to root the claim that there are authentic historical rights in these countries?! In this regard, the author presented in detail the basic pillars of the concept, the proponents of this idea, their tools for implementing it, and the repercussions and risks of that, especially on the Palestinian cause and the rights of Palestinians.