UAE cited as template for Islamic nations

In a lecture organised by the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research, Sayed Mohammed Al Husseini, the secretary general of the Islamic Arab Council in Lebanon, cited the UAE as an example of a country where all sects live harmoniously.

ABU DHABI // The answer to sectarian conflict is a civil state governed by Islamic principles where all sects live harmoniously, the UAE being an example of such a state.

Speaking at a lecture addressing sectarian violence at the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research, Sayed Mohammed Al Husseini, secretary general of the Islamic Arab Council in Lebanon, said all citizens should develop a strong sense of nationalism, regardless of religion and sect. In turn, the state should be the supporting umbrella for all. “Religion is for Allah, and the homeland is for all that Allah has allocated for us.”

To put an end to sectarian conflicts, he reasoned, all individuals should be brought up with an open mind and mentality to accept each other and not consider those from a different religion or group as wrong or doomed.

The ultimate solution would be to give growth to nationalism; “The homeland is the bridge that the citizen should cross since childhood.

“Patriotism is from faith, it is the value that all academic, social ... organisations should focus on,” Mr Al Husseini said.

Building a society solely on civil principles, however, had proved to create conflict between the religious and the secular in the past, he said.

“Each Muslim society requires to have a government which guarantees its safety and development.”

Secular governments have given birth to extremist groups that rebel against them and call for Islamic states instead.

So the civil state needs to go in line with Islamic principles and governance, Mr Al Husseini said.

“Is there an end to the dark tunnel that Muslim societies are living through? Is there a modern valid (way of applying) religion?”

The answer, he said, was the UAE: a country that had worked on raising Islamic values in harmony with moderation, with a priority of fighting terrorism.

Mr Al Husseini called for the of monitoring religious texts of all types being published. He also stressed that Sunnis and Shiites were not different religions.

Instead, they were two different schools of the same religion that have been separated by politics.

“Isn’t God one (for both)? Have we seen a Shiite who does not believe in Allah? Or Prophet Mohammed? Or follows a book other than the Quran?”

He cited the Quranic verse that says: “There is no compulsion in religion. You cannot manipulate people under the name of religion (as ISIL does).”

hdajani@thenational.ae

Published: June 4, 2015 04:00 AM

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