By Arab News
An international forum about valuing the role of Saudi Arabia in strengthening peaceful coexistence concluded on Wednesday by stressing unity and a unanimous position in rejecting the rhetoric of sectarianism, hatred, and clash.
Organized by the Muslim World League (MWL), the Forum of the Iraqi Religious Scholars in Makkah was held in the presence of senior Sunni and Shiite scholars.
The forum’s final statement stressed the need to activate the “Makkah Document” and open channels of constructive dialogue and positive communication among scholars so they can resolve issues and crises.
The final statement also recommended setting a body for cultural communication between sects that the Muslim societies consist of, in addition to a coordinating committee that brings together Iraqi religious scholars and MWL.
The forum stressed the need to confront religious extremism from all sources, in addition to strengthening means of rejecting the rhetoric of intellectual and cultural hatred in the Muslim world.
MWL secretary-general Sheikh Mohammed Al-Issa said that the Iraqi government has made huge steps to strengthen its country’s identity, adding that “in their meeting today, the Iraqi religious scholars have warned of the disease of sectarianism.”
In his inaugural speech, Al-Issa said: “Between Sunnis and Shiites, there is nothing but ideal fraternal understanding and coexistence, and cooperation and integration in the context of sincere compassion, while understanding the specificity of each sect within the same religion.”
Pshtiwan Sadiq Abdullah, minister of endowments and religious affairs in Kurdistan-Iraq, said his government did not spare any effort in building the new and progressive federal Iraq, and that it has contributed to drafting the constitution, which guaranteed the rights of all components.
He also said Kurdistan was — and still is — a safe haven as it enjoys peaceful coexistence and respect for all religions and sects.
Sheikh Ahmed Hassan Al-Taha, a chief scholar of the Iraqi Jurisprudence Council, praised the role of the Kingdom under the leadership of King Salman in strengthening regional and international peace while also thwarting extremism.
He cited the 2006 Makkah Document as the best evidence to stop the bloodshed in a wounded Iraq.
“Kurds were pioneers in seeking good despite the ethnic, religious and sectarian diversity, which made Kurdistan-Iraq a role model at all levels,” Sheikh Abdullah Said Waysi, the head of the Kurdistan Islamic Scholars Union, said.
He also said the efforts of the religious institutions in Kurdistan-Iraq revolve around strengthening the principle of communication and cooperation among all in Iraq, based on serving society and the interests of its citizens.
A delegation of senior Iraqi religious scholars arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday evening to participate in the forum.