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Fadlullah Praises the Statements of the Archbishop of Canterbury regarding Islam

The Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah issued a communiqué in which he commented on the statements of the Archbishop of Canterbury regarding Islam. He said:

We have always emphasized the need for people and religions to open up  on one another, since it will enrich the various aspects of life, including the spiritual, the legal, the political, the social… etc, as well as participate in bridging the gap that exists between nations, and members of  various religions as a result mainly of political complications.

In this respect, we value the statements of the Archbishop of Canterbury to benefit of some of the provisions of the Islamic Sharia to achieve social cohesion between the Muslims and the rest of the British people. We believe that they indicate a rational and open minded mentality that constitutes the basis for the meeting of religions and conducting intellectual and spiritual dialogue among them, in an effort to enrich the human spirituality and thought. Such a dialogue should be held in particular between the Muslims and Christians whom the Glorious Quran said that they are closer to Muslims, than others, because of their spirituality and humbleness.

That is why the Quran called on them to come to an “equitable proposition” based on the unification of God and the unity of mankind.

We would also like to express our regret to some of the reactions to the Archbishop's statements that demonstrated an ignorance on two levels: The first is ignorance of Islam as a religion, and the mixing up between Islam and between certain Muslims' practice of violence against the innocent which is condemned by many Muslims. The second ignorance is that of the nature of religious commitment in certain aspects such as the personal status affairs, which the Muslim cannot but observe, leading him to look for solutions that fall outside the scope of the legal framework to reconcile between his religious commitment and his citizenship.

We have always emphasized the necessity of the integration of Muslims in their Eastern or Western societies whose majorities are not Muslims and whose systems are secular and based on freedom. This integration should be accomplished through their concern in the vital interests of their countries, just like all citizens, the respect of the rule of law and the protection of the public interests. They should strive to be good citizens on the basis of their Islam that calls for tolerance, opening up, morality and rejecting any wronging or aggression.

But we would like to emphasize that there are some responsibilities that should be shouldered by the governments and the legislating authorities, whether Western or otherwise, that do not take into account the Islamic particularity of the Muslim individual religious commitment, especially in the personal status issues of marriage, divorce and inheritance. These issues could be integrated by the law makers so as to create the Muslims’ cohesion in their society in a way that does not violate the general order of those countries, but rather reflects a kind of respect to some of its citizens by instituting the legal provisions that enable them to preserve the unity of the system and the cohesion of the societies.

This, in our view, can create a fertile ground for achieving internal peace that enables the members of the society to understand one another, and can lay the foundations of an objective scientific movement that would better understand Islam, because we believe that the cultural dimension of Islam is an objective state that any body can study and not a divine theological secret.

In this respect, we call on the governments and the intellectual elites, especially in West, for an objective scientific dialogue with the various Islamic religious parties to study the way to reduce the intensity of the differences between the followers of the various religions, and laying the foundation for the cohesion of Muslims and their integration in the societies they live in, in a way that, on the one hand, does not violate their Islamic commitment and that gives, on the other hand, the Western society a kind of cultural and spiritual richness.

In this respect, we would like to draw the attention to the fact that many of the thoughts the West has about Islam are a result of a historical context that led to many mistakes, just as Christianity was understood in the context of the Crusade wars that were waged in the name of Christianity on our Muslim and Arab countries. And we believe that both conceptions do not reflect the values of neither Islam nor Christianity.

We have always been stressing the need to condemn violence against the innocent and the peaceful of all religions. And we have voiced our condemnation to the nine eleven bombings as well as those in Britain and Spain and those in the Arab and Muslim countries.

And we have been always calling for the necessity that Muslims should always adopt the Islamic civilized rule of opening on the other and holding a dialogue with him, for Islam adopts the methods of lenience and tolerance and not those of violence and Takfir.