Conference vows to combat extremism


Published — Saturday 24 August 2013

A four-day international Islamic conference focusing on the de-radicalization of Muslim youths concluded this week with a vow against extremism.

RENEWED PROMISES: Speakers and organizers at Manchester Islamic Center at the end of the conference

Speakers included Dr. Jamal Badawi, Dr. Shabir Ally of Canada; Idris Tawfiq of Egypt; Suhaib Hasan of the United Kingdom; Dr. Tasneem Zaman, also of the United Kingdom; Zoran Salahuddin of Serbia; and Dr. Khalid Zaheer of Pakistan, who addressed de-radicalizing youths, the misconceptions about Islam, and why violence and extremism run counter to the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Speakers and participants also examined the Sunnah, misconceptions about Shariah, the five dimensions of Jihad and how to survive as a Muslim in times of adversity.

The conference was organized by the Forum For Social Studies, a non-profit organization based in UK seeking to bring youthsback on the right track.

Badawi said that jihad is a core message of the prophet. The term Holy War did not originate with Islam, and the Qur’an forbids “war waged on behalf of one religion against another [60:8-9]. Nowhere can there be found in the Qur’an connotations for holy war. Even necessaru legitimate fighting to stop aggression is a “hated act”.

He also said that jihad is not terrorism, but that terrorism is a “deliberate and careless act targeting the innocent, whether the culprit or victim is an individual, organization or state.” It violates Islam’s battlefield ethics.
Jihad is not senseless indiscriminate violence. The term jihad derives from “j-h-d” meaning to strive or exert maximum effort with the same root of “Ijtihad,” which means “exertion of maximum intellectual effort” by qualified scholars in legal interpretation.

Badawi also said there is wide misunderstanding and fear of the Sharia, which can be explained as “Shariaphobia,” a mindset of Islamophobia. Sharia means justice, equity and ethics, he said. Sharia means just balance in every means of life, not mere “middle of the road” balance, but balance within immutable Sharia provisions, as exaggeration is rejected in the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Idris Tawfiq discussed the “Road to Salvation through Islam,” as Islam is simple, easy and straight forward.
He also threw light on adornment of learning through gravity and patience and emphasized positive thinking.



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