Muslims should use all opportunities, urging to unification: Lebanese Shia spiritual leader
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 12 / Trend , U.Sadikhova/
Lebanese Shia Spiritual Leader and famous Islamist Theologian, Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah spoke with Trend Middle East Desk in an exclusive interview.
Trend : How do you assess Ali Rafsanjani's appeal to establish a council of Shiites and Sunnis, which will include the Saudi and Iranian scholars, to end the differences between the religious trends? How can the participation of Turkey, one of the largest and most powerful Muslim countries, assist in the establishment and functioning of the council?
Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah: Through political, religious, ideological, social, and intellectual and cultural aspirations, we are trying to reconcile the Islamic trends. What we hear and see around us reflects an attempt to divide Islam and reinforce the divisions within the Muslim society. Therefore, it would be useful to take advantage of any proposals aimed at uniting the Muslims. We need an open dialogue, as well as many meetings.
This process should cover state officials, parties and groups. It aims to strengthen solidarity and to end the strife and murder.
I believe that this rapprochement will create an atmosphere of trust, enhance the significance and role of Muslims, regardless of affiliation to a particular trend.
Q: How is it true that the problem of democracy in Arab countries and Central Asia cannot be attributed to general democratic problems of Muslim countries?
A: In fact, there is no true democracy in most Asian countries and the Arab world. There is a democratic dictatorship in these countries. If there is democracy, then it is formal or presented in a distorted form. Democracy is presented by the ideological and intellectual systems of Western countries, which do not correspond to the values in Asian countries. The reason is that Western countries were established on this ideology and thoughts.
Democracy is one of the manifestations of this system, which is based on ideological and intellectual principles of political and social thought, and even the psychology of western people.
Therefore, we [Muslims] should apply to the natural form of Islam. We should try to create its own system, based on ideological and humanitarian values, and not get lost in the maze of rules, formed on the basis of different opinions, especially those that separate religion from social life. Muslims must begin to understand Islam, relying on scientific principles, and this will be the beginning of a new era. This will help to find a genuine solution of problems through the boards of the Quran, the Sunnah.
We respect the contribution of scholars to the historical and religious heritage. However, nothing prevents us to think differently. Muslims can bring Islam into a new modern stage.
At the same time, we, Muslims should try to understand Islam on the basis of modern science. We should not blindly follow the path shown by our scholars.
Q: How does the religious question influence on the political situation in Lebanon? Is it possible to solve the internal problems of Lebanon by religious meetings?
A: Probably, Lebanon is one of the countries where there is considerable political and religious interference, due to heterogeneous ethnic and religious composition. Thus, a religious figure becomes a politician and a politician heads a religious trend. I do not believe that if the priest is involved in politics, on the basis of moral values, problems can arise. Because he will follow the general interest, rather than become mired in lies and pursuit of personal interests. The same is required from politicians. Therefore, the policy should not be a movement that arose as a result of the collision of values.
Q: How do you view religious and political policies of Turkey as a model of Islamic democracy?
A: Activity of Islamist forces in Turkey, a country that wants to become a secular, designed to engage leading political positions, is very important. However, from the ideological point of view, in order to demonstrate their activities within the Islamic principles, they [Islamic movements] need an experience.
Q: How is the view true that the Muslim community in Europe is incorrectly portraying Islamic values in Western countries? Is it true that, bringing their problems to European society, Muslims create an erroneous impression about Islam in the West?
A: Some Muslims in Europe follow the wrong way, and we do everything possible to rectify the situation. True Muslim must be fair and righteous in those who cannot resist aggression. Muslims should not confuse the government and people. In particular, because people may differ from their government, as we witnessed during the protests of Westerners against the decision of their Governments to conduct occupation policy in some Islamic territories.
God says: "Allah does not forbid you to be kind and fair to those who did not fight with you because of religion and did not expel you from your homes. Verily, Allah loves impartial people."
I believe that Muslims should be active in those countries where they emigrated in order to broaden their outlook and to live a decent life. They must follow the rules and laws of the countries in which they live, and use all means to show justice to the people. Such an approach can influence on public opinion, and show that it is in the interests of all people. A Muslim cannot seek only to involve representatives of other religions in Islam. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to be open with other people.
A Muslim, in order to divulge his/her thought and ideas to people, as well as moral values, must prove that his requirements meet the requirements of humanity. This requires sufficient intellectual and ideological knowledge that the rituals and traditions of the country, where Muslims emigrated, differ from Islamic traditions. We must cultivate a culture of emigrants and the right attitude to these issues. This will help to dispel all fears, and respectively, will create a right impression about Muslims, without any distortions, which are depicted by some scholars and politicians, being behind of time and history.
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