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BISHKEK, August 21 (Itar-Tass) - Religious leaders in various countries can help politicians stop military conflicts by spreading the true teaching of Islam, which is incompatible with ethnic and religious strife, Ravil Gainutdin, the head of the Council of Muftis of Russia, said on Wednesday, addressing a conference in Kyrgyzstan entitled “Religion and Security”.
“Imams and muftis are ever ready for cooperation with state authorities, if their decisions and actions do not contradict Islam and the interests of the people of a country and do not infringe on citizens’ rights and freedoms,” he said.
The mufti said it is impermissible to take phrases in the Koran out of context in an effort to show “viciousness” of Islam. “This means distorting the Koran, for God’s behests for religious tolerance are formulated as universal laws and cannot be disregarded,” Gainutdin said.
“It happened many times that words proved to be stronger than arms, that moral instruction was more useful than the efforts of many diplomats. There was a multitude of examples in the history of Islam when the clergy gave assistance to politicians in trying times,” the mufti added.
He said religious leaders were presently ready to assist politicians in overcoming complicated social problems to the benefit of the people and for the sake of supreme values.
The international conference in Bishkek attracted muftis from Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and European countries, as well as members of parliament, of the presidential staff and of the State Commission for Affairs of Religions of Kyrgyzstan. The forum will last for two days and will discuss issues of the inter-religious dialogue and the fight against extremism.