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Islamic theologians gather in Moscow to condemn religious extremism

May 26, 2012, 5:59 UTC+3

It is very important for the Arabs Russia has never been at war with any Arab country

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MOSCOW, May 26 (Itar-Tass) —— Moscow is hosting an international theological conference titled Islamic Doctrine against Radicalism. This is the first time Russia’s muftis and leading theologians of the Muslim world have gathered in Moscow for considering joint measures against religious extremism.

The chairman of the organizing committee, Dr. Adel al-Falah, of Kuwait, who opened the conference, said that Russia’s Muslims have always been for interaction and cooperation. He wished success to all participants in the forum in drafting and adopting a document that would serve as a guide for all clergy and believers in defending the ideas of tolerance as the true spiritual value of Islam.

Ilya Barinov, representing the Russian presidential staff, expressed the certainty that the participants in the conference, including about 40 major scholars from more two dozen Muslim countries, will be able to see once again that Russia is a multi-ethnic country where various religions coexist in peace.

As the co-chairman of the Russian Congress of the Caucasus Peoples, Ruslan Kurbanov, told Itar-Tass “it is particularly important the scholars selected Moscow as the venue of their meeting, as the capital of a country friendly to the Arab Muslim world.”

In particular, he pointed out “it is very important for the Arabs Russia has never been at war with any Arab country, Russia has been invariably friendly to the Muslims and it consistently supported the peace-making process in Palestine, which is crucial for the Arabs, and campaigned against violence in modern Arab countries. The fact that the meeting is being held here is a gesture of special trust and respect for Russia on behalf of the Arab world.”

The conference is attended by the heads of centralized and regional boards of Muslims, and also heads of the regions of the North Caucasus and the Volga River basin. The international union of Islamic scholars is represented by muftis and spiritual leaders of Kuwait, Lebanon, Marocco, Yemen, Bahrain, Tunisia, Sudan, Jordan, Chad, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Turkey, Iraq, Malaysia and Iran.

The two-day conference will end with the adoption of a fatwa (a religious and legal theological pronouncement mandatory for Muslims) condemning the use for selfish purposes of such terms as jihad (struggle against human vices), takfir (the charge of disbelief), and caliphate (Islamic state system). Also, in broader terms the conference will consider the causes of radicalization in the world and “in particular, in Russia, because the fetwa is to adopted in its territory,” Kurbanov said.

“So far Islamic scholars have never gathered for such a large meeting, and this is particularly important for the Muslim world,” he said. “If a great number of Muslim scholars agree to make a common theological pronouncement, it will have the power of a mandatory instruction to the Muslims, because it is based on the principle of “ijma” – the consensus of the Muslim community.

At the request of participants in the international conference the adoption of the final document will take place in Chechnya’s capital Grozny on May 27, the press-service of the Chechnya’s head and government has told Itar-Tass.

The forum’s organizers are the international center Al-Wasatiyya (of Kuwait) the education center Al-Wasatiyah-Moderation (of Russia), and the International Union of Islamic Scholars, uniting an overwhelming majority of Islamic theologians. The Foundation of Support for the Islamic Culture, Science and Education and the Akhmat-haji Kadyrov provide assistance.



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