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Religious literacy needed to fight pseudo-Islamic sects — Muslim leader

It's a disease that has spread out, and it's time to think about a medicine, the chairman of the Spiritual Directorate of the Muslims of Russia's Tatarstan says

MOSCOW, October 5. /TASS/. The chairman of the Spiritual Directorate of the Muslims of Tatarstan marked on Monday a harmful role of religious illiteracy which has its role in the spread of pseudo-Islamic sects.

"As for pseudo-Islamic sects, Muslims are the hardest hit by their activity," Kamil Samigullin told the conference ‘Islamic religion against extremism’. "We all recognize that it is a disease that has spread out, and it is time to think about a medicine," he said, noting that fight against religious illiteracy was among the remedies.

Russia’s largely Muslim republic of Tatarstan "is catastrophically lacking the presence of traditional theologians on federal channels, it is necessary to strengthen religious educational centers in the country, upgrading them to an international level," he said.

"A certain union of Muslim scholars and theologians of Russia" that would act "as a more global structure, uniting all really literate theologians," could be another means, he said.

Iranian Ayatollah Mohammed Ali Tashiri believes "extremism has two underlying factors — ignorance in the sphere of Islam and policy of the West". "We cannot believe that a person who knows Islam well will adopt terrorism as all ideas of Islam reject and deny terrorism," he said.

"The second factor is policy of the West, that begot this phenomenon, distorted Islam," the ayatollah said. "We are witnessing a return to barbarism and savagery," Mohammed Ali Tashiri said.

The former head of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (since 2011-the Organization of Islamic Cooperation), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, said atrocities committed by extremists made one "recall the times when the humankind existed outside the epoch of civilization".

"We are seeing atrocious footages when people are not just killing each other, but are doing this in most barbarous ways," he noted.