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Scholars meet to counter extremist narratives

By JT - May 17,2016 - Last updated at May 17,2016

HRH Prince Hashem attends an international conference organised by the Iftaa Department to counter the arguments of extremists in Amman on Tuesday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — A two-day international conference organised by the Iftaa Department opened in Amman to debate means to counter extremist narratives and ideologies.

Attended by HRH Prince Hashem, who was deputising for His Majesty King Abdullah, the conference gathers religious scholars, experts and researchers from Arab and Muslim countries and other parts of the world.

These countries include Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Yemen, Lebanon, Thailand, Austria, Daghestan, France, Ukraine, Sweden, Pakistan, Nigeria, Niger, Morocco, Malaysia, Kuwait and Iraq.

At the opening of the conference, Grand Mufti of Jordan Abdul Karim Khasawneh said the parley is held because extremists have started a sedition among Muslims and caused bloodshed and destruction.

Khasawneh said that His Majesty King Abdullah warned of provoking sedition and its horrible consequences that the region is witnessing nowadays. 

The grand mufti also highlighted Islam's image as a faith of peace, moderation and tolerance that rejects extremism and terrorism.

For his part, Grand Mufti of Egypt Shawki Allam said the war on terrorism is not a mere war of words but an effort that requires serious work and efforts on the ground. 

He said the Iftaa department in Egypt had sensed the danger of fatwas, or religious edicts, issued by terrorist groups from the beginnings, therefore it conducted a set of measures to combat the propaganda mechanism of such groups, including Daesh, through monitoring the edicts and refuting them with well-built counter narratives. 

Allam added that his department translated more than 1,000 fatwas in English, French and German, most of which focus on refuting claims by extremist groups. 

Chairman of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments in the UAE Mohammed Al Kaabi commended efforts by Jordan’s Iftaa Department in combating extremist ideology, especially through organising international conference, which he described as a “leading initiative on the correct path to liberate religious speech from the hands of extremists”. 

He added that extremist groups declare many segments of society as non-Muslims for reasons of their own, including rulers, the public and even established scholars. 

 

Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Hussein said such conferences are badly needed to repudiate fatwas issued by a current that “essentially targets our religion”. 

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