Iranian president seems to sense Islam has an image problem

From Tehran Times

The General Assembly of the AhlulBayt World Assembly opened in Tehran on Saturday in the presence of representatives from 130 countries and some political and cultural figures with the aim of reinforcing Islamic solidarity and promoting the ideals of Islam.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

Inaugurating the 4-day gathering, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned that enemy is seeking to create divisions in the region and portray Islam as the religion of violence and extremism, urging resistance against such plots.

“The enemy intends to turn the religion of morality and brotherhood into a religion of violence, extremism, killing, discord and rift and we should stand up to such deviation and distortion,” Rouhani told the participants, Press TV reported.

“We should not allow enemies to use terrorist groups to portray the religion of Islam… as the religion of killing, violence and destruction,” he noted. 

He said all Muslims should remain united to thwart the plot and illustrate Islam as the religion of peace.

The president also said Iran would never use its scientific, spiritual, and political power against neighboring states or any Muslim country in the region. 

Rouhani said that Iran’s strength lies in its logic and its negotiating power. “We will use our capability and power to establish peace, stability and security in the region.” 

“We do not see our power in weapons. We see our power in logic, reasoning and hoisting the flag of peace.” 

The president noted that Iran respects the values of Islam and democracy while observing the rights of minorities, saying Shia and Sunni Muslims in the country are equal before the law and live in peace and harmony. 

He emphasized that Iran’s logic is based on peaceful coexistence and unity among all Muslims.

According to Tasnim, Rouhani also decried the use of military force as a gesture of power, reaffirming that Iran employs its influence to bring about peace and security in the region, a clear sign of which was Tehran’s diplomatic success in nuclear talks with major world powers, namely, the U.S., China, Russia, Germany, Britain, and France. 

“We proved that we are able to employ political might and logic to hold talks with the major world powers and force them to accede to our Muslim nation’s rights,” he added. 

Rouhani cited “knowledge, science, unity, solidarity and morality” as the cornerstones of security. 

He added Israel, despite possessing nuclear arms, suffers from a feeling of insecurity. 

Rouhani also took a swipe at certain neighboring countries for the wrong notion of buying sophisticated weapons and launching military strikes against the “great and oppressed” nation of Yemen. 

The president also hailed the gathering of Muslim scholars in the assembly, saying the conference conveys the message of unity for the Islamic world as well as peace, stability and security in the world. 

“For us there is no difference between Iraqi Shia, Lebanese Shia, Syrian Shia or Yemeni Sunni, Palestinian Sunni. We want peace and security and equality for the whole region.” 


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