London hosts the first Conference of Leaders of the Muslim Community in Europe chaired by Sheikh Dr. Al-Issa

London hosts the first Conference of Leaders of the Muslim Community in Europe chaired by Sheikh Dr. Al-Issa

London (UNA-OIC) – The British capital, London, has hosted the first Conference of Leaders of the Muslim Community in Europe with the participation of more than 300 figures including Muftis, and religious leaders. The conference was presided over by His Eminence the Secretary General of the Muslim World League and President of the Association of Muslim Scholars, Sheikh Dr. Muhammad bin Abdulkarim Issa and attended by parliamentarians and representatives of other religions. 

The conference represents a qualitative shift in the support of the cooperation of the European Islamic leaders and contributes to unifying stances as regards major issues of the European Muslim Community and addressing its most pressing ones.

In its first edition, the conference achieved great success represented in its highly-important and exceptional outputs the most important of which are: the declaration of the establishment of an independent body for the European Muslim communities based in London comprising a Fatwa and religious guidance committee, the ratification of the “Makkah Charter” for training the Muslim Imams in Europe and warning against reducing the religion to mere narrow political goals.

His Eminence, Dr. Al-Issa began the inaugural speech of the conference by welcoming the leaders of the Islamic communities in Europe affirming that the Muslim World League is playing its universal role so that this event and the like of it will achieve their aspired goals without any intervention in the religious affairs of any country. The MWL is launching the initiative and is honored to offer its services and exert efforts in order to unify stances and find solutions.

He further indicated the exceptionality of this universal event hosted by the British capital putting into consideration the distinction of the attendees and the importance of its objectives that aim to unify stances as regards major issues. He added that the conference was really exceptional due to the fact that it brought together all the different Islamic religious schools with no exception. The conference was really a universal event that celebrated Islamic diversity which is rationalized by the wisdom of Islam so as to be more peaceful, giving, and cooperative in serving Islam, Muslims, and the entire humanity.

He explained that Islam is the religion of mercy, peace, and charity. There is no differentiation among people; everybody is included under the umbrella of this Islamic moral principle regardless of differences in religion, race, or color.

Dr. Al-Issa noted the vastness of the Islamic religion affirming that the diversity in the legal opinions is an indication of the conceptual openness of this religion and the inimitability of its legislation. We can find examples of this in our encyclopedias of jurisprudence. He added that if we confined Islamic jurisprudence to a certain school of jurisprudence we would never see such great diversity.

Dr. Al-Issa explained that the diversity in Ijtihad was also known during the time of the Prophet, PBUH, and he praised all those who exerted efforts to reach legal opinions and he never described any of them as being wrong. He also approved certain opinions that conflicted with the text only to facilitate for the people. These opinions were later taken as a secondary text and a legislative tradition.

He added that the Islamic Sharia calls for mitigating hardships and facilitating life for Muslims, yet extremists never assimilated such divine mercy and therefore they rejected it. This is why the true and established scholar is the happiest among people with the opinions of his fellow scholars. No true scholar will ever feel bad about the Ijtihad of any other scholar, and whoever feels that way is lacking the characteristics of the well-established scholar perhaps because of his scholarly arrogance, his implicit claim of his infallibility, or his inability to perceive the vastness of the Islamic Sharia and its mercy.

His Eminence talked about the evils of division and disputing, affirming that they have offended the Islamic religion. He added that Islam is too sublime to have its great and comprehensive message reduced to mere political goals and material aspirations. All this has had its passive results the least of which are the sharp debates taking place inside our Islamic world and which have added more burdens on the Islamic nations and undermined their image in the world.

His Eminence Dr. Al-Issa has warned against the attempts to distort the image of Islam affirming that this is unfair to this great religion regardless of the pretexts. He added that the results are what really count and that man will be held accountable for the end he/she chooses for their life. Dr. Al-Issa said such those who choose such a path in life are losers either in their beginning, their attempts to rise, their isolation, or their end. Those are the ones responsible for the division and discord inside the Islamic world and for introducing dangerous ideas to the young Muslims that in some cases led to violence and terrorism.

Dr. Al-Issa said, “The attempts to justify this systemic defect will not work. We all see the results, and the reputation of Islam in areas of chaos and intellectual disorder is at stake.  How great is wisdom, how great are the good intentions, how great is the religious knowledge, how great is the sound thinking, how great is tolerance in analysis, decision-making, and broad and comprehensive consideration that compares between interests and evils and rebuts all evil pretexts.”  He further noted that Islam is a highly insightful religion since scholars have decided that the Islamic fatwas and rulings differ according to time, place, and circumstances.

His Eminence stressed that the true scholar and the well-established Islamic thinker is an advocate of peace, amity, and concord. He can understand and absorb the differences among people, and defend the reputation of his religion as well as his own reputation as a religious scholar and the religious content that enables him to share ideas with the followers of other religions and doctrines. He added, “We have to affirm here in this conference that we are a nation that calls for wishing good for everyone, and that we are a nation that respects its pledges and covenants. Every Muslim living in any country respects the constitution and laws of this country as well as the optimal coexistence with everyone. He has a duty to reconcile among people, and enhance the cohesion of the society he is living in regardless of the difference in religion, thought or culture.”

He pointed out that Islamic awareness realizes that religious identity does not conflict with national identity and that the constitutions of civilized countries protect the freedom of faith and religious practices.

His Excellency concluded his speech by reiterating that “the Makkah Charter” is the most important Islamic document in our modern age the contents of which carry messages of awareness to the entire Islamic nation. He added that all the Islamic countries have unanimously ratified it and called for benefiting from it in the religious, cultural, and educational institutions.

A number of speakers then delivered their speeches the most important of which was the speech of His Excellency, Member of Parliament, Minister and PM’s Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Mr. Rahman Chishti, who at the beginning of his speech lauded the efforts exerted by the MWL to show the whole world the true image of Islam and Muslims so that everyone sees the true message of Islam that calls for justice and the respect of man. He also praised the “Makkah Charter” which focused on coexistence and the end of injustices rejecting at the same time the violation of human rights.

Rahman affirmed that the “Makkah Charter” was keen to explain that the differences among the world’s cultures should not be a reason for disputes; rather it should bring them together and strengthen their unity. The Charter stipulated further that education is one of the human rights that should be guaranteed to man young or old, male or female.

His Eminence the Rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, Mr. Chems-eddine Hafiz, stressed the importance of the “Makkah Charter” that focuses on our role in confronting the world’s present challenges, affirming that the items of the charter will all be adopted in the Grand Mosque of Paris.

Mr. Chems-eddine affirmed that since its establishment in 1926, the discourse of the Grand Mosque of Paris has always revolved around the spread of the message of Islam, fraternity, unity, and dialogue among religions. The religion of Islam enjoins peace on us, it does not restrict our freedom, rather it has freed us and given us the opportunity to increase the awareness of others of good deeds and justice that Allah, the Almighty, orders us to abide by.

His Eminence explained that the Europeans have their own good values and that they respect the religion of Islam adding, “We want to affirm that Islam is completely far from violence committed in its name. It is our duty to ensure the separation of the religion of Islam from passive explanations and manipulations of politics and to ensure that there is no blind adoption of extreme ideas”.

For her part, Mrs. Naz Shah, who is ranked as one of the most influential Islamic personalities in the world, delivered a speech in which she explained that the “Makkah Charter represents the truth of Islam since Muslim scholars have agreed that it should be a document of peace, concord, and amity among all people, which is the essence of the message of our true religion. She added that this charter is inspired by the charter of Al-Madina that was issued by the Prophet, PBUH, and which is considered the first document in history that advocates the basic rights of all human beings with no discrimination.

She said, “We are living in an age in which the ideas of the clash o civilizations are presented every day. Muslims, who have been suffering from Islamophobia, hatred, and all kinds of violence and oppression, are included within the people targeted by these ideas”. Therefore, the Makkah Charter fights extreme ideas and hatred and calls for unity among people in order to end these successive waves of violence, and enhances the values and principles that we wish to prevail in our present world, and this urges us to work hard in order to see the items of this charter a reality in our societies.”

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