Sponsored by EU and UPP, College of Arts at Salahaddin University-Erbil (SUE) in corporation with Masala organisation arranged a seminar titled "Culture and peaceful coexistance of religious and ethnic minorities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq [KRI]" in the university centre.
In this meeting, the minister of higher education of KRI Dr Yousif Goran, SUE president Dr Ahmed Dezaye, ministry of endowment representative, and large number of unversity lecturers and students were present.
SUE delivered a speech in which he mentioned the role of coexistance in KRI and Iraq.
He said, "This seminar is arranged when are experiencing an unstable situation and scathing rhetoric resulted from the ongoing war in the area in which religion is distorted and minorities marginalised.
"For us Islam is the symbol of peace and there is a need for revsion in education and religion programs in order to eradicate extremism."
He also said, "University plays an important role in that regard. We have to promote coexistance and respect for the differences."
Later, the minister of higher education valued the importance of coexistance. He said, "The right of minorities has been a controversial issue from the beginning of declaration of Iraq. During 80 years, the state failed to promote tolerance. When the former regime was toppled, there was a hope among the people. But now the rights mentioned in the constitution have been violated. Therefore, a large number of minorities immigrate."
He also said, "There is a culture of coexistance which we have to preserve. In KRI, there is an attempt to give oppotunity to minorities in education. For instance, there is Syriaic Department at SUE, an example hard to find in the other parts of Iraq."
In another part of the meeting, director of Masala organisation said that they have a project to help enhance the youth ability for a brighter future. He said, "we have arranged this seminar as part of the project. Our main obective is to introduce the young people to the enthicities and promote coexistance amon them."
The meeting lasted for a day in which representatives of different ethnic groups were present.