Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 17 /Trend I. Izzet/
Radicalism does not recognise madhhabs (theological-legal schools) and is the enemy of free thought, senior Advisor of the Supreme Leader in Muslim world affairs Ayatollah Taskhiri said on Monday at a meeting with the Chairman of Azerbaijani State Committee for Work with Religious Organisations Elshad Iskandarov, who is in Iran on an official visit, the State Committee reported.
During the meeting, Taskhiri said that he has known Iskandarov since the period when he led the Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation. The Ayatollah praised the performance of this body aimed at creating a religious dialogue between the young people of the member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The founder of 'Proximity of the Islamic Schools of Thought' organisation Taskhiri touched upon the subject of religious radicalism.
"Religious radicalism and movements based on extremism, harassment and persecution of other religions and sects are a real threat to humanity," Taskhiri said.
He added that such tendencies often become a tool in the hands of others and contribute to the emergence of Islamophobia in non-Muslim countries. Therefore regardless of schools of thought, one of the main challenges facing the Islamic scholars is to eliminate the spread of radicalism and instead spread free thinking among Muslims.
"Radicalism does not recognise madhhabs and is the enemy of free thought," he said.
Taskhiri praised the model of religious tolerance in Azerbaijan and stressed that this model can serve as an example for other Islamic countries.
In turn, Iskandarov noted that the policy implemented by the state in the sphere of religion is aimed at ensuring religious tolerance and convergence of schools of thought. The government being aware of the danger posed by radical religious thinking takes a principal position on the issue.
He proposed to devote one of the main directions of the Baku Forum on State and Religion: 'Strengthening tolerance in the changing world' which takes place in Azerbaijan every two years, to the topic of convergence of Islamic schools of thought.
The committee chairman underscored the need for permanent work in this direction. Iskandarov proposed fighting against radical and extremist thinking, not separately, but within the framework of the OIC.
Ayatollah Taskhiri gladly accepted both proposals and expressed a readiness to work together in this direction.
At the end of the meeting it was decided to begin practical work on the implementation of these proposals at expert level.