The Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Center (JICRC) was established in 2003 in Amman. It is concerned with the sensitive and vital issue of coexistence in the world in general and within the Middle East region and Jordan in particular.
JICRC's primary objective is to provide advice and assistance to governments, organisations and individual decision-makers on religious-based peacebuilding, based on fourteen centuries of peaceful interfaith coexistence in Jordan. It employs research, dialogue, and practical initiatives to promote values of peaceful interfaith coexistence as models for building a better political, social, economic, cultural, and security environment.
Main activities and achievements
Since its inception in 2003, the JICRC has built a network of local, regional and international partners that help and support the center in promoting peace, coexistence, understanding, and the empowerment of women.
The primary principle guiding the work of the JICRC is the sanctity of life and sacredness of 'Karamah', which in Arabic translates into human dignity. JICRC undertakes several local and regional advocacy and information initiatives each year focusing on and raising awareness of Karamah. The first Karamah community peace center was been established in Amman for this purpose. JICRC has plans to establish and equip several more Karamah community peace centres across Jordan.
The work of the center is focused around three Coexistence programmes that are designed to reach all the critical members of society invested in peace and understanding – clerics and imams, women, and youth. The JICRC is active globally through hosting and participating in various conferences to promote interfaith dialogue and peaceful coexistence among different faiths. Since its establishment, the JICRC has launched several successful programmes that seek to foster positive interfaith relations in Jordan, in the Middle East, and around the world.
'Imams for Coexistence' is an effort to present to other societies the moderate voices of the Muslim world working for harmony, tolerance, moderation, and peaceful coexistence with others.
This programme brought imams to the United States in order to introduce young, progressive leaders to the culture, history, and society of the West and allow them to witness how different religions are expressed in the western realm.
Imams for Coexistence also gives the imams opportunities to interact with western societies in a positive and constructive way through participating in dialogues at public events, where they can discuss Islamic perspectives on human rights, democracy, and gender, while allowing them to address misconceptions and misunderstandings of Islam prevalent in western society.
The 'Women for Coexistence' initiative convenes workshops, camps and conferences for women to provide an open forum for interaction using core interfaith values as a foundation for building harmony, religious coexistence, cultural understanding, gender equality, and peace.
The 'Youth for Coexistence' programme provides a venue for Muslim and Christian youth to engage in dialogue and to build relationships of respect and understanding, and to build their capacity to promote peace and understanding between faith traditions and become community leaders for the cause of peaceful coexistence.
Finally, the 'Media and Coexistence' programme, as recent project, aims to promote a balanced portrayal of interfaith relations in Jordanian and Arab media, empowering young journalists to use social media and learn more about the importance and value of interfaith harmony.
These programmes provide a simple yet voice for peace and acceptance in Jordan and the Middle East. It also unites stakeholders in providing efficient means to improve regional and global conditions.
JICRC's future vision aims to is to develop and implement educational programmes geared towards continuing to develop peacebuilding concepts using interfaith perspectives on human dignity, equality, justice and freedom.
These programmes will tackle issues including coexistence, democracy, women's rights and empowerment in the MENA region, children's; rights and youth rights, and religious freedom.
Learn more about JICRC on Harvard Divinity School, Patheos, Religious Communicators Council and U.S Catholic.