Mecca, Asharq Al-Awsat- Islam is facing a fierce campaign, and the preachers of Islam should defend it and explain its true principles of coexistence, security, safety, and cooperation among all nations says Dr Abdullah Al-Turki, secretary general of the Muslim World League (MWL).
In a statement during a recent meeting with a delegation of Muslims from the United States at the MWL headquarters in Mecca, he stressed the importance of the good example, which a Muslim should set for others through his conduct and good treatment, especially since this helps attract people to Islam.
Al-Turki had earlier explained the pillars that the preachers of Islam should rely on to the US delegation, which includes 85 Muslims and which is led by Sheikh Dr Zahid Rashid, head of the Society of the Koran and Sunnah in New York. This requires preachers to follow the Koranic guidance and be aware of the mission of the person who invites people to the cause of God in introducing them to Islam and explaining its principles and tolerance toward others.
The MWL secretary general reviewed the suspicions against Muslims in the West, which are attributed to Islam, pointing out that holding Muslims responsible for the sins of the deviant group of terrorists and for the lack of respect for others are considered false charges attributed to Islam.
Dr Al-Turki noted that the US Muslim delegation’s visit is considered an opportunity to learn about the Islamic approach applied by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to know its approach of charitable deeds and serving Muslims. He said that serving Islam and Muslims is the responsibility of scholars, preachers, thinkers, and the sincere ones. He added that the most important challenge facing the nation is the distortion of Islam, pointing out that it is the duty of every Muslim to correct the distorted image and refute the suspicion about the Muslims’ failure to cooperate with others. He said that Islam orders its followers to cooperate with all people in charitable deeds, in achieving the interests of mankind, and in fighting injustice and all forms of evil.
For his part, Dr Hasan Safar, professor of Islamic governance systems at the King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, stressed that the Islamic rhetoric springs from the source of Islamic legislation, “the Koran and the Sunnah,” to the effect that the world should live in “tranquility, dialogue, and peace.” He said that there are several reasons for the obstacles faced by this rhetoric and its faltering in the West in particular. The first of these reasons is that there are hidden agendas in the Western thought about Islam, including the literature of orientalists that are hostile toward Islam. Second, the background of conflicts and wars that broke out many centuries ago between Islam and Christianity, such as the Crusades and the courts of inquisition in Andalusia, and what followed them in terms of massacres against Muslims. Third, the actions carried out by “some reckless persons” of those affiliated to Islam, although they are condemned by Islam and divine laws in terms of killing, spreading panic, assassination, terrorism, hijacking of planes, and other actions. All this has created hatred and confusion, based on premeditated plans for conflict between the West and Islam. He said that the outcome of these accumulations is represented in the fact that some politicians “of those who have personal interests and private agendas, have carried out foolish and reckless acts and widened the gap between Islam and the West.” He noted that such factors have erased the concept of the moderate Islamic rhetoric, and led to the emergence of the concept of “Islamophobia” and accusing Muslims of “fascism.”
Dr Hasan Safar told Asharq al-Awsat that there is no doubt that the West is responsible for some of these burdens and accumulations, along with some Muslims. He attributed this to the absence of channels of dialogue. He said: Some of the intransigent Muslim scholars, of those who embrace a fundamentalist trend and ideology, could be one of the reasons for the failure to pave the way for dialogue between the two sides.
He noted that it is possible to open channels of dialogue between the West and Islam through the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, represented by its “enlightened” scholars and academics, of those who have modern religious specializations, to serve as a springboard for intensifying the concept of dialogue from the land of the two holy mosques, taking into consideration that King Abdullah Bin-Abdulaziz, custodian of the two holy mosques, calls for intensifying the concept of dialogue, the policy of openness on the West, the upholding of the message of Islam, and correcting its image. Once these foundations are completed, the meeting between the Western thought and the Islamic thought will take place within a context of objectivity and transparency. In fact, the Vatican may also contribute to such visions, in its capacity as the religious authority for Christians and other religions.