Solution of the Middle East Crises in an Interview with Sh. Abdol-Hamid

Solution of the Middle East Crises in an Interview with Sh. Abdol-Hamid

Note: due to intensification of crisis in the Middle East and after the air strikes of Russia in Syria on the pretext of “war on extremism”, there have been different reactions to the attack. The Official website of the Sunni Community in Iran interviewed Mawlana Abdol-Hamid, the outstanding Sunni scholar in Iran and an expert on the issues of the Muslim world.
The full text of the talk is as follows:

What’s your opinion about the new phenomenon of “terrorism”?
I believe when every phenomenon arises, the causes of its emergence should be investigated. If we want to fight against an effect, first of all we must find its reasons. The phenomenon of terrorism which we, on many occasions, have condemned is a hideous phenomenon that has affected the entire world specially Muslims. There has not been a thing namely “terrorism” up to the present time even in our age. No one was familiar with the term of “terrorism”. It is a new word.

May we know the factors behind the phenomenon of terrorism?
If we examine the causes of terrorism, we will find aggression, tyranny and occupation of other countries among the most important reasons behind arising of terrorism. The groups which now are known as the terrorist groups are the results of such aggressions and injustice.
We had not heard the term of “Al-Qaeda” until Russia, the former Soviet Union, occupied Afghanistan. After that attack, a Jihad against Russia was begun. The group called “Al-Qaeda” came to existence the former Soviet Union invaded on an independent country which had definite boundaries, and made a nation homeless. Osama bin Laden, founder of Al-Qaeda, was an engineer and a contractor who came for Jihad to Afghanistan after the former Soviet Union’s assault on Afghanistan. Therefore, the aggression of the former Soviet Union on Afghanistan and the brutal killing of Muslims in this country were the main cause for the formation of some groups such as Al-Qaeda.
The occupation of Palestinian territories, the US invasion on Afghanistan and Iraq, ignoring the rights of minorities, enmity with Islam and insulting to the Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, are the other important causes for so called “terrorism”.
The terrorism that the US went to Afghanistan for its suppression has been arisen from Africa now and is spreading yet. I believe their war on terrorism has not been a correct struggle. Rather they have strengthened terrorism in many countries in order to, on the pretext of combating terrorism, strengthen their positions in the Muslim world.

Your comment on the Russian military air strikes in Syria?
I am sure the US assault on Iraq and Syria on the pretext of fighting terrorism and the Russian airstrikes on Syria on the same pretext and to save the current regime would boost terrorism more than past. The people of the world will see that I’m right. It is impossible that these countries would eliminate terrorism by military strikes and campaigns. But these powers must find the roots and fight with its roots.
I believe war is not the solution in any way. War cannot solve the problem of Iraq and Syria, but dialogue and negotiation can solve these issues and bring the nations together. It is the wide-mind and foresight that can solve the disputes. As I decry the Russian attack on Syria, I condemn the US and its allies’ attacks, too. Some people consider our disagreement with the military strikes of Russia in Syria as “an alignment with the US”. It is an absurd claim; because we have already announced our strong opposition to the US invasion on Muslim states, I have condemned it and still I do so.

Any message to the aggressive states?
During this long time, hundreds of thousands people have lost their lives in various countries, Unfortunately, the United Nations, Eastern and Western powers, despite the capabilities and power that Allah has given them, could not solve the problems in the Middle East or they don’t want to do so. Instead of using constructive and rational ways, they have used destructive and military force to resolve political crises.

How the regional states can overcome their ongoing crises?
I believe the only way to end conflicts in countries like Iraq, Syria, and Yemen is implementation of a correct and comprehensive formula that would have the agreement of the majority of people in that country. The Muslim states in the region should cooperate with the UN and the major powers to form national governments in the concerned countries in which all ethnic, religious and other classes of the society have their due shares. After the formation of an inclusive government, the people of that nation, not the US or Russia, must be summoned to fight and marginalize those groups who oppose the accepted formula and peace.
In the Unity Conference held last year in Tehran, I recommended some solutions and I said in current situations that governments had differences, and they were not ready to sit together as well as the OIC cannot do anything, only one community can take useful steps to solve the current crises in the Muslim world; they are scholars. Because people have trust on scholars, they listen to them; even extremist groups respect Muslim scholars. So if governments support the famous scholars in the Muslim world, Shiite and Sunni scholars and different thoughts sit together and persuade each other, this action will have an important and decisive role in resolving current crises. Before the Muslim World faces the current crises, I suggested that a campaign to be launched linking Tehran, Doha, Riyadh and Ankara. A delegation from the outstanding scholars of the Muslim world must be formed in order to make efforts for getting the heads of the Muslim countries and opposition parties together and talk to them. They must talk to opposition groups and particularly with extremists to convince them, because these groups are not secular; they know themselves attributed to the religion even they call their fighting “jihad”. They fight against an idea, though wrongly, but scholars who are experts in the issues of tenets must guide these groups and persuade them.
Perhaps, for resolving the problems it will be the best way that scholars speak with the heads of states and make them close together and summon them to form a comprehensive government from ethnic and religious minorities and from all parties. They also should talk to parties and groups ensuring them that their rights would be provided by governments.
A long time ago I proposed this offer, but it was not welcomed and today we witness the formation of these groups and spreading of militancy in the world. If a serious action will not be taken in this field, doubtlessly we will witness the rise of some new groups and more pains and problems in the Muslim World.

As the final question, how do you evaluate the current situation of the Muslim countries?
Unfortunately, the current situation of the Muslim world is disappointing; because the colonial and arrogant powers make decisions for Muslims and their countries. The history of colonialism is clear; they are not sympathetic for Muslims but they inter the Muslim countries just to achieve their objectives, military, economic, cultural and politic interests.

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