Islamic contact group established to promote peace

ZEYNEL YAMAN
ISTANBUL
Published
Islamic contact group established to promote peace

A statement calling for an end to religious violence in the Muslim world was released following the "World Islamic Scholars Peace, Moderation and Commonsense Initiative" by Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) head Mehmet Görmez on July 19.

Scholars who participated in the conference agreed on establishing a contact group to foster and promote peace and common sense in the region.
Görmez stated that the contact group, comprising of 10 people, aims to ensure peace in the Islamic world and has been established by Diyanet. The group will meet with governments, international institutions, parliamentarians, religious groups, academic and scientific circles to assist in settling conflicts in the region.

Also, the group will travel to conflict- ridden regions to carry out peace studies. Görmez stated that the contact group will only work to ensure peace on religious and moral grounds and give priority to Islamic brotherhood and Muslim unity.

The Islamic world needs to take part in a joint effort to revive the quintessential values of the Islamic civilization, said Görmez. In his speech at the conference, Görmez said that scores of women and children have lost their lives due to Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip that started in the holy month of Ramadan.

The final declaration read by Görmez said that Islam does not approve of hatred, hostility and gives priority to justice, law and peace. Görmez added, "Islam never approves of a conflict which has no legitimate and legal grounds. The main reasons behind the conflict in Syria, Iraq and other troubled regions are not religion and sects, but the desire to gain interest and power from these sectarian differences."

Religious representatives and scholars also took the floor at the conference and stated that the final declaration should include a vehement condemnation of Israeli aggression on Gaza. It was also explained that this is why the last version of the declaration will be announced following the evaluation of scholars.

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