ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - Tuesday, December 20th 2016 [ME NewsWire]
The world’s leading Islamic scholars, philosophers and dignitaries in Abu Dhabi gathered today for the third-annual Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, the first day of its two-day conference. The sessions’ central focus was the role of the modern nation state and its relationship with Islam’s historical equivalent, aiming to sustain peace in the region. This year’s forum explored the best methods to finding peaceful solutions that can rectify the negative and distorted image of Islam in some parts of the world. In addition, the speakers endeavoured to refute extremist ideologies with a culture of peace and tolerance, which has been a driving force of Islam.
The forum was held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and the chairmanship of Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah. HH Sheikh Nayhan bin Mubarak, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development was in attendance as well as high officials including Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance. HH Sheikh Nayhan bin Mubarak opened the floor and thanked the attendees with dignity and grace. In acknowledgement of the importance of the peace forum; he opened the floor for HE Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, the President of the forum.
HE Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, framed the discussion for constructive discourse. He first welcomed the congregation of thinkers, scholars and leaders with humble respect. In acknowledging the necessity of their collective knowledge and implementation, he commented, “We need thinkers and leaders to become healers and doctors of modern society by replacing the jurisprudence of hate with the jurisprudence of peace.” He also acknowledged that Muslims are the first victims of terror attacks that have plagued global civilisation. “We need to set and be examples of the truth and uphold the integrity of Muslims and Islam across the world,” he added. He further noted how illiterate groups and individuals are plaguing religion with literal, ahistorical and acontextual methodologies that end up negating the core universal truths of Islam. In closing his speech, glimmered in hope, he thanked and praised UAE for its “example of a peaceful state in such turbulent times.”
The second person to address the forum was HE Dr Muhammad Matar al-Ka’bi, Secretary General, Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies. He vocalised, “Terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. This needs to be recognised in order to take them out of this abyss.” He then stressed the utilisation of Islamic principles such as mercy and justice, to bring peace and stability for all nations. He then highlighted the need for a secure state, remarking “The nation-state is the actual formula for bringing order in this world.”
Sheikh Dr Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, Secretary General of the Muslim World League, announced, “This forum has been the beacon for Muslim societies.”
HE Dr Muhammad Mukthar Jumah, Minister of Religious Endowments and Islamic Affairs, Arab Republic of Egypt, placed emphasis on portraying the true picture of Islam. He explained that individuals and collectives that misunderstand the scriptures are misguided and have distorted the image of Islam. Dr Muhammad used an apt metaphor to demonstrate how extremists misrepresent Islamic scripture: “They are dying of thirst while carrying their own water.” He concluded that this forum shows Islam is a religion of peace, safety, security, brotherhood and having a good relationship with oneself.
Farah Al obaidi
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