KAZAN, Tatarstan: People need to cooperate on the 10 percent of things they have in common to achieve world peace, the Saudi Press Agency quoted the head of the Muslim World League (MWL) as saying on Monday.
The body’s secretary-general, Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, was giving a lecture in the southwestern Russia city of Kazan.
He said cultural communication was important and so were conversations about religious and national diversity, especially in countries where there were different faiths and ethnicities.
“Mankind has no other option to achieve harmony and peace but to fully understand the inevitability of differences and diversity, and then cooperate through similarities, of which 10 percent is enough — we believe — to achieve world peace inside countries and between them.”
He was at Kazan Federal University, in the Republic of Tatarstan, and his audience included faculty members and students.
The university employs 11,000 people, 4,000 of whom are academics. It has 47,000 students and one-third of them are from Muslim countries.
The university has a center for Islamic studies, which seeks to promote Islamic culture and train scholars. The center also has 13,000 manuscripts, 5,000 of which are in Arabic.
Al-Issa said the MWL endeavored to promote the true version of Islam and counter extremist ideologies falsely attributed to Islam, as well as other forms of extremism, especially the concepts of the extreme right in Western countries.
“The MWL also aims to extend bridges of communication and dialogue to followers of other religions and cultures, to partner with them and provide initiatives that serve common goals, in addition to extending bridges of support to everyone, regardless of religion, race or color. Even though Muslims are proud of their religious affiliation, they know that this does not conflict with their national identity.
“In fact, Muslims know that this national affiliation, which seeks good for all, is a key element for achieving harmony between their religious and national identities and that extremist ideas contradict these just concepts.”
Last week, he and the grand mufti of Tatarstan signed an agreement to cooperate in the dissemination of moderate Islam and its principles of tolerance and coexistence.
Last month, Moscow and the Muslim World League moved to develop closer ties, following a meeting between Al-Issa and Russia’s Parliament Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin.
Al-Issa signed a cooperation agreement between the MWL and Moscow’s Fund for Islamic Culture, Science and Education. The agreement focused on tackling extremism and promoting tolerance.
It also addressed the interaction between Muslims and Islamic organizations in Russia and Muslim-majority countries.