Tuesday, January 20, 2009

King Abdullah urges Muslims for unity

Makkah: Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz urged the Muslim Ummah to close their ranks and confront the challenges facing it in one voice. "The current situation demands the unification of Muslim ranks and facing the world with a single voice after patching up rifts and burying differences," he said in his opening speech at the International Conference on Fatwa and its Regulations, which began here on Saturday.
The king's speech was read out by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al Faisal. More than 170 scholars from around the world gathered at the headquarters of the Muslim World League (MWL) for the five-day event organized by the Islamic Fiqh Academy, an affiliate of MWL.
The conference is aimed at issuing a Fatwa Charter defining the Shariah rules governing issuing of religious edicts (Fatwas).
Addressing the conference, MWL Secretary General Dr. Abdullah Al Turki said that the unprecedented Zionist aggression against the Palestinians is in stark violation of the UN resolutions.
He said there is an organised campaign to divide the Muslim Ummah and the ignorant people are giving religious edicts against the tenets of Islam to misguide, mostly, the young generation, who have no concrete understanding of Islam. "It is Muslims' negligence to practice their religious obligations and distancing themselves from the teachings of the Holy Book and the Sunnah that really make them weak,” he observed.
Dr. Al Turki said earlier that the participants will discuss shortage of muftis in some Islamic countries and the possibility of providing these countries with credible and qualified muftis.
In his speech, Prince Khaled Al Faisal stressed that the time has come for a unified Islamic stand to advance the basic cause of moderation in Islam and fight back those who have wanted to hijack the essence of moderate Islam and turn it into an ideological concept of extremism.
"Today's Islamic communities need to be protected from the chaos of irresponsible extremist Fatwas that could affect the right creed and straight path of new Muslim generations," he said while urging Islamic scholars to counter irresponsible Fatwas by the "intruders” on Islamic jurisprudence, providing them with all help needed from Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, noted Saudi writer Turki Al Hamad said that it is high time to expose the danger of hardline ideologies. "The extremists are responsible for making Islam a hostage after hijacking it and misinterpreting its message of tolerance and love for their violence and destruction," he said. Turki Al Hamad, whom many Islamists in the Kingdom, labelled as a "secular writer" said that such hardliners are not going to have an ultimate success.
Gulf News