Doha conference brings Sunnis and Shias together

An inter-Islamic dialogue conference, aimed at bridging the gap between Shia and Sunni Muslims that aggravated since the killing of the former Sunni President Saddam Hussein in Iraq, kicked off yesterday in Doha.

Doha conference brings Sunnis and Shias together

The three-day Doha Islamic Dialogue Conference, which seeks to eliminate any tension between Islamic sects and energize the dialogue among the intellectuals, warned against escalation of the Sunni-Shia conflict in Iraq and plots to instigate sectarian strife all over the Islamic world.

The conference was attended by a number of prominent personalities from across the Islamic world, including H H Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, the Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Industry H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah, Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) Secretary-General Dr Akmeleddin Ihsanoghlu, Islamic scholar Dr Youssuf Al Qaradawi, Dr Mahmoud H Zakzouk, Minister of Endowment and Religious Affairs; Ayatollah Mohammed Ali Al Taskhiri, General-Secretary of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Thought, Iran, among others.

At the opening session of the three-day conference held in Doha Sheraton and organized jointly by the Faculty of Sharia at Qatar University, the Al Azhar University and the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Thought, speakers also condemned politicization of sectarian and ideological differences among Muslim sects to serve political interests.

Many conferences were organized on the same theme by different Arab countries, yet no results were ever produced, but the Doha Islamic Dialogue Conference plans for forging a mechanism to translate the rapprochement idea into a deed and to tackle all sources of tension between Muslims.

In his welcome address, Abdullah bin Hamad said: "The backwardness reflected in the racist, sectarian and doctrinal conflicts among Muslims is the most dangerous challenge currently facing the community.

"The history of separation among schools of thought testify to many facts which prove that the claim of separation was based on political reasons, irrelevant to religion or jurisprudence (Fiqh). Islamic law (Sharia) does not recognize separation among people. Diversity of schools of thoughts is just the outcome of freedom of innovation in Fiqh.

"How do we call for tolerance with other religions and not apply it among followers of Islamic schools of thought. Therefore, it is necessary to disregard sectarian differences, of political content which employ religion for political purposes to achieve personal interests, which don't serve Ummah's common interests."

In his speech, Ayatollah Taskhiri, a prominent Iranian scholar, warned against efforts by "colonial powers" who want to make Iran the enemy of the Arab world, in the place of Israel, and creat Shia hatred against Sunnis to serve the interests of the Zionists.

"They are redrawing plans to regain control over the region and its resources and prevent the rebirth of Islam," he warned.

He said the Islamic revolution in Iran, the Infifada in Palestine and Hezbollah's war against Israel, which led to the resignation of the Israeli Chief of Staff, revived the Islamic spirit.

Taskhiri also pointed out that there are ongoing efforts to divide Iraq and Lebanon politically, adding that the "enemies of Islam" are trying to inflict damage similar to the 9/11 among the Islamic Ummah,

"We should not allow such efforts to succeed. We must stress on the elements of unity among the Islamic Ummah," he added.

Also Dr Youssuf Al Qaradawi, a prominent Sunni Muslim cleric, made an emotional appeal to Shia leaders to take action and cooperate with initiatives being made by the Sunni leaders to end the sectarian conflict in Iraq, warning of attempts to cleanse Baghdad of its Sunni population, which he said, is totally unacceptable.

"No one can tolerate such unspeakable hatred. Sunnis are suffering more in Iraq. I had repeatedly called upon the Shia scholars and leaders in Iraq and Iran to intervene to stop this bloodshed," Qaradawi said.

"Iran has influence in Iraq. It can stop this violence and put out the fire that could destroy everything," he added. "We should not allow the fragmentation of Iraq, Syria or Egypt. We must support Iran to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. If Israel can keep several nuclear warheads in its arsenal, then why not Iran," he asked.

"I personally despise extremism. There are extremists in both sides. Many television channels are vying to propagate their pronouncements. We should ignore such voices and listen to people of wisdom, like Sheikh Fadallah (a prominent Shia cleric)," Qaradawi said. The scholar asked the participants not to end up with doing lip service but "address the reality on the ground".

"I had prayed behind Shias and Sheikh Taskhiri had prayed behind me," he added.

Qaradawi attributed the Sunni-Shia tension to a number of factors, inclulding religious, political, "some made by us" and "some made by our enemies."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16