Toby Melville/PA Wire
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Prince Charles warns social media is stoking religious divisions during Oxford visit

Wed 17 May 2017
By Alex Williams

Prince Charles has warned that social media is being used to encourage and spread fears between different religious groups.

On a visit to Oxford on Tuesday, the heir to the throne said there is an "urgent" need for reflection dialogue between those of all faiths.

In a speech to the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS), he said: "There has perhaps never been a greater need for cultural connectivity.

"In the world in which we now live, with fears about 'The Other' - whether that be Sunni, Shia, Jew, Christian, Yazidi, Hindu or Buddhist - stoked and spread through social media, and amplified by those who would seek to suppress understanding, rather than promote it, there is an urgent need for calm reflection and a genuinely sustained, empathetic and open dialogue across boundaries of faith, ethnicity and culture."

Chris Jackson/PA Wire

 

The Prince of Wales was opening a new building at the OCIS - next to Magdalen College - of which he has been the patron since 1993. He and the Duchess of Cornwall later met with local vendors at Oxford's historic covered market.

He went on to say: "We need to rediscover and explore what unites rather than what divides us. And that involves a recognition that we have all learned from each other and should continue to do so. No one culture contains the complete truth."

An independent centre of the University of Oxford, the OCIS aims to offer a space where the Islamic and Western worlds of learning meet.

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