Promote tolerance and moderation: scholar

  • 7 July 2015

Negative social phenomena in the Muslim world can be defused through tolerance, moderation, and dialogue, a scholar said in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday at a Ramadan gathering.

The Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) lecture is part of a Ramadan series of talks dealing with issues of extremism and negative social behaviours.

Dr Abdul Hamid Al Ansari, who holds a PhD in religious politics from Al Azhar University and is currently a part-time professor at the College of Law at the University of Qatar, said, “Be open to each other and not blame each other. This holy month is an opportunity for our society to reconsider and review their perceptions of other nations.”

Dr Al Ansari explained that part of the problem linked to negative social phenomena at the moment is the bad practice of religion,

“The story doesn’t lie in the religion, but in the bad and wrongful practice of Islam. We need to coexist with each other. Islamic texts have many verses speaking of tolerance and love for others, we [Muslims] are allowed to marry Christians and Jews, yet some who are scholars preach a message of hate which is contrary to Islam.”

Islamic scholars also have a role to play, and disagreements between scholars should be welcomed and accepted, according to Dr Al Ansari.

“Different opinions are normal. Scholars are like any other category of specialists, and different opinions are required. According to our religion, differing opinions are a mercy from God, we should want these disagreements, and we should not narrow our minds. What we should do with disagreements is to manage them, and what we lack is a good management of disagreements. Some scholars who are dogmatic, they want to argue rather than discuss.”

Scholars should also “be fair and not inclined to certain sides, they should lead by example and not raise political disagreements. Unfortunately some mosques became platforms for political agendas, with mosques being used for political purposes”.