JEDDAH: The secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, has declared at one of the world’s biggest gatherings that struggle should be replaced by dialogue and understanding based on mutual respect.
He stressed that his message was for 1.8 billion Muslims who are committed to a religion that calls for the values of peace and promotes the building of bridges of peace and harmony in all issues. The most important of these, he said, are the rights of minorities, women and men, migration causes, national integration and trafficking in human beings as well as problems of poverty and ignorance.
This came in a speech delivered by Al-Issa in Rimini, Italy, on behalf of the Islamic peoples in the activities of the 39th edition of the Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples. The theme was “The forces that move history are the same that make man happy” and political and religious leaders participated in the presence of more than 5,000 people from around the world.
The one-week gathering featured several seminars and open discussion sessions aimed at bridging the gap between the peoples of the world and emphasizing the importance of coexistence and understanding among nations and cultures.
This was the first time that the concepts of Islamic thought, culture and civilization were presented in this huge international gathering.
Al-Issa affirmed that the will of the Creator has decreed that people should be diverse in their colors, languages, religions, creeds, ideas and cultures.
He added that Allah has honored everyone and has not excluded anyone. “Only pure hearts filled with love and goodness can enjoy Allah’s mercy and justice and see in this diversity human richness that promotes dialogue, coexistence, cooperation and peace,” said Al-Issa.
He also pointed out that evil spread hatred, wars and injustice, classified people based on racism, exclusion and clash of civilizations, establishing the theory that diversity means conflict, not peace and harmony. What counts, he said, is the dignity of one’s religious or ethnic group.
Al-Issa warned against some groups that have reached intellectual deterioration, based on religious convictions or extremist philosophies.
“These groups form isolated cases in every religion, at any time. There is no religion whose origin is extremist, and in every religion there are extremists. The theories of some philosophies are intellectual hallucination rather than a philosophical logic,” added the MWL secretary-general.
He stressed that the MWL speaks in the name of the Islamic peoples, hence it has felt the importance of clarifying the truth of the Islamic religion which has loved, coexisted, engaged and cooperated with everybody after extremism has tried to harm it.
Al-Issa stressed that any religion incompatible with life cannot survive for more than 1,400 years, which is the age of Islam to this day.
“Islam is still among the most widely spread religions in terms of geography and growth. Muslims today count about one billion and 800 million people,” he said.
Al-Issa stressed that it is neither logical nor fair to reduce this religion, which has hundreds of millions of followers, to an extremist category that does not exceed, according to the MWL’s statistics, one in 200,000 Muslims who represent moderate Islam.