The speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly said that the group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been formed based on warmongering attitudes. Ali Larijani went on to say that the ISIL warlords are likely to be led by others, but the group members have their own ideologies and this shows that something serious and practical must be done. The top MP also underscored efforts to keep interfaith dialogue alive and a focus on commonalities as what is direly needed for peaceful coexistence.
Larijani made the remarks in a ceremony celebrating the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him) and the graduation of students of the University of Religions and Denominations on Thursday in the central city of Qom. The following is the translation of his comments as reported by Fars News Agency on January 8:
Formation of a university which could focus – along with the seminary schools – on [different] religions and denominations was of great significance. Today we see that such a university is flourishing in Qom.
It is a must to delve deeply into religions and denominations from different angles. In the past, controversies arose in the East and West for which biased people waged wars against each other. Today we witness that ignorant prejudice against and improper attitudes toward religion have brought disgrace [on nations].
A look at this condition reveals that research into religions and denominations is highly essential. The current situation in the region has caused the potential of several Islamic countries to be wasted; only the US and Israel take advantage of this situation.
The ISIL group has emerged drawing on a warlike mentality, and their warlords seem likely to have been led by others. They have ideologies of their own and this shows serious scientific studies should be carried out.
Conflicts have given rise to multiple problems in the world of Islam. These conflicts have even been taken to their TV channels.
Religions have been practiced by a large population throughout the world. They share many questions and this is the potential which should not be ignored.
Where people are to be guided to is the centerpiece of a religious way of thinking. Commonalities [among various religions] should be highlighted, and peaceful coexistence – not division and discord – should be the core of [religious] principles.
Proximity with religions should be accompanied through a rational view. It should be noted that all religions have mystic views and orientations. Positive results will be produced if we pay due attention to mystic questions on top of rational matters.
Dialogue among religions should be kept alive. Socially speaking, today’s world is in need of interfaith dialogue, and the existing voids should be filled in this regard.