Shiites, Sunnis Unite to Denounce Extremists

They called for the need to understand and interpret the sacred texts in their historical contexts rather than literally apply them, which could lead to uncivilized actions. The cardinal urged for developing the dialogue between religious and nonreligious individuals so as to reach a comprehensive agreement between citizens in their communities.

Al-Monitor spoke to Jawad Al-Khoei, who attended the summit in his capacity as a representative of the Iraqi Council for Interreligious Dialogue. He said that preserving religious and cultural diversity in Iraq is one of the top priorities for the religious authority in Najaf.

He said that ever since the establishment of this hawza (traditional Islamic school) 10 decades ago, not a single fatwa was issued against other religions or other Islamic sects and it has never taken a sectarian or extremist stance on any issue or against any other religious denominations.

Another summit was held on Nov. 23-24 in Qom titled "The World Congress on Extremist and Takfiri Movements in the Islamic Scholars’ View." The conference was attended by Iranian and non-Iranian Sunni clerics.

Some academic institutions and universities in the city took advantage of this opportunity to host certain Sunni Iranian clerics who have visited the city for the first time, including Molavi AbdolHamid, who is the Friday imam of the city of Zahedan, and a senior theologian and cleric in the Balochistan region of southeastern Iran.

AbdolHamid was made famous when he brokered a deal with the extremist group Jundallah to release the Iranian soldiers they had kidnapped in May. Moreover, in October, he sent a message to the Saudi king imploring him to abolish the death sentence against Sheikh Nimr, a Shiite cleric.

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