Muslim World League Chief: Exclusionary Ideologies Generate Violence, Terrorism

Muslim World League Chief: Exclusionary Ideologies Generate Violence, Terrorism

Sunday, 4 February, 2018 - 09:00
Muslim World League Secretary General Mohammed Al-Issa. (SPA)
Rome - Asharq Al-Awsat
Muslim World League (MWL) Secretary General Mohammed Al-Issa criticized on Saturday "discriminatory hatred," saying that it generates violence which later fosters terrorism.

He called for respect and understanding the nature of diversity, urging the reinforcement of true Islamic teachings on tolerance and coexistence.

Issa was speaking on the theme “Tackling Violence Committed in the Name of Religion” at a conference organized by the British Foreign Office and attended by religious and political leaders from around the world.

He said that the Muslim World League believes that violence practiced in the name of religion is not only borne by those who are radicalized, but can also be attributed to the shortcomings of educational institutions in their efforts to combat extremism.

“Every time violence in the name of religion was found, it was a result of the neglect of religious figures. Religious programs must focus more on instilling moral and behavioral values, promoting respect for diversity and differences, and strengthening the values of peace, love, and cooperation,” he said.

Issa added that it is courageous of religious leaders to hold themselves accountable for any ideological disorder that hides behind religion.

“Only sensible people are capable of accepting differences and diversity, as well as understanding the values of religions,” he stressed. “The more honest, determined and capable we are, the more likely we are to defeat extremism and help peace and harmony prevail in this world.”

“We realize that the use of force against ideologies and cultures often results in financial and moral losses, in addition to a further deepening of the conflict and its complexity. Wise people believe in soft power because ideologies can only be confronted with ideologies, and this kind of power can uproot the corrupt plant as a whole. History has taught us an unforgettable lesson in this.”

Issa pointed out that violence in the name of religion expanded only in areas where extremist thoughts were not taken seriously — no matter the pretext.

“Extremist ideologies sometimes lead to violence, and violence may lead to terrorism in ever-expanding episodes,” he added.

“The world today suffers from the continuation of violence committed in the name of religion and the poor presence of influential religious and intellectual leaders,” he pointed out in his speech.

“Condemnation and declaring having nothing to do with extremism, violence and terrorism are not enough in dealing with violence committed in the name of religion,” he added.

“What matters is what we have done to rid the world of these epidemics, which are now using deceptive methods which we must be aware of.”

“Throughout history, religious wars have been waged for political ambitions and as a result of sectarian cleansing and cultural hegemony, which is hostile to other religions, cultures and civilizations, while many sensible religious, intellectual and political leaders have been either not playing any role or playing a weak one,” Issa explained.

“If these episodes of violence in the name of religion were not combated using a greater force, which is religious and intellectual activities, they will grow, multiply and spread,” Issa warned.

“Most of this violence is based on an exclusionary, hate-filled ideology that does not wish to coexist with those who do not believe in the same ideas. This mental imbalance stems from unhealthy social, educational, intellectual and political roots.”

The MWL, a global Islamic institution headquartered in Makkah, acts as a reference for all Muslims, said Issa.

According to Issa, the body has played an important role in countering extremist ideologies by developing many programs and initiatives, as well as partnering with many religious bodies worldwide — most recently, the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue.

He stressed that, throughout history, political agendas have formed alliances with those who exploit religion in their favor because it is easy and most powerful to use religion as a tool for influencing the masses.

He believes fighting extremism nowadays is tougher than ever due to the misuse of social media platforms, which made sending messages to the masses around the world and brainwashing them easy.

Issa urged the global community to realize the magnitude of the dangers facing the world.

“We must work together to spread the cultures of civilized communication, love, respect, diversity, tolerance and coexistence,” he said. “Hate speech must be combated with great determination.”

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