Project Launch Strengthening Religious Tolerance in Lebanon

On 28 October 2015, a launching event was organized by the Lebanese Dar al-Fatwa and the Berghof Foundation to kick-start the cooperation project "Lebanon: Strengthening the Strategy Development of Dar al-Fatwa Institutions to Enhance Stability and Religious Tolerance". The event was hosted by Dar al-Fatwa on invitation of the Grand Mufti of the Lebanese Republic, Sheikh Abd Al-Latif Derian.

Dar al-Fatwa is the highest religious authority that represents the interests of the Sunni community in Lebanon on governmental level. It is responsible, among others, of the administration of mosques, Islamic Endowment, the Sharia jurisdiction and different social institutions.

The aim of the cooperation is to develop and support the capacities, strategies and instruments of Dar al-Fatwa to identify root causes of radicalism and address these as the lead representative institution of moderation and tolerance in the Sunni community and in Lebanon. Through the two-year pilot phase, Berghof Foundation aims to support Dar al-Fatwa in its efforts to promote tolerance, moderate narratives and religious pluralism against the increasing threat of extremist groups and their mobilization efforts in the region. Building on existing initiatives of Dar al-Fatwa and the Grand Mufti, the project seeks to strengthen internal strategy-building and inclusive networking. Through knowledge-sharing, exchange and coordination with different governmental and non-governmental institutions as well as national and international stakeholders and representatives of various groups, Dar al-Fatwa will be supported in its efforts to take a lead role in strengthening moderation and religious tolerance.

The launching event was attended by notable religious, political and diplomatic figures. Speeches were delivered by Sheikh Abd Al-Latif Darian, Grand Mufti of the Lebanese Republic, Martin Huth, Germany's Ambassador to Lebanon, Christina Lassen, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon, Dr Mohammed Sammak, Advisor of the Grand Mufti, and Prof Dr Hans-Joachim Giessmann, Executive Director of the Berghof Foundation. The launch event was followed by a signing ceremony.

The project is kindly supported by the German Federal Foreign Office and the Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) of the European Union (EU).

Full version of Grand Mufti Sheikh Abd Al-Latif Darian's speech

Full version of Dr Mohammed Sammak's speech

Full version of Prof Dr Hans-Joachim Giessmann's speech