“Fighting oppression, extremism and terrorism are duties of all religions, including Muslims, and we should present Islam’s merciful face to the world more than before,” Rouhani said on Thursday evening.
He made the remarks in a meeting with Sheikh ul-Islam Allahshükür Hummat Pashazade, the chairman of the Caucasus Muslims Bureau in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan Republic.
In the talks, Rouhani expressed pleasure with Pashazade’s report on the reinforcement of religious bases, and said “the bases of unity among Islamic communities must be further strengthened, and the enemy must not be allowed to divide Muslims by sowing discord.”
Rouhani also hailed an increase in the Iranian and Azeri people’s trips to each other’s countries, and described it as a valuable step in development of relations and further closeness of the two nations.
For his part, the Chairman of the Caucasus Muslims Bureau briefed the Iranian president on the conditions of the region and Azerbaijan Republic, and said closer relations between Tehran and Baku are beneficial to both nations and the region.
He pointed to the growing enthusiasm of people for religion in the region, and said, “Currently, religion is the axis of unity among peoples in the region and Azerbaijan, and we are currently witnessing increased mosque attendance, and the people of Azerbaijan widely welcomed the Arba’een March this year.”
Pashazade is the Grand Mufti of the Caucasus which includes his native Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Georgia, and Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, Ingushetia, Chechnya, Karachay–Cherkessia, and Adygea in the Russian Federation.
On November 21, 2009, he was included in a 500 Most Influential Muslims of World book.