Keep Islam and politics apart, urge top scholars at Abu Dhabi symposium

  • 19 May 2015

Sheikh Waseem Yousef, preacher and imam of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, told the gathering: “In the Quran, Allah said that youth are the pillars of any developing society so they must be protected from exploitation by extremists and radical thinkers.”

He also said that using religion for political gain was incorrect.

Sheikh Yousef said that the media had a big role to play in fighting these extremist forces.

Lt Gen Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, head of general security for the emirate of Dubai, asked scholars if they believed the extremists themselves were to blame, or those in power who back them.

Sheikh Yousef replied: “These [extremist] groups are based with external support.”

He gave an example from Quran in time of the Prophet Mohammed, where Jews supported building a mosque and propagating against Islam through it.

The Jews invited the Prophet to pray in it. Then Allah revealed its reality to the Prophet and ordered him to demolish the mosque, Sheikh Yousef said.

Moroccan Dr Abdel Haq Azzouzi, professor of international relations and political science, said Islam and politics must be kept apart.

“We should differentiate between religion, politics and state. This keeps state independent of the religious arena, a very important pillar and one fundamental to the establishment of a modern state and democracy,” Dr Azzouzi said.

He praised Dr Al Suwaidi’s book and said it spoke clearly to scholars.

The first Arabic edition of the book was released this year and an English version was published this week.