Egypt: Scholars Say Unity of Muslim Nation Takes Priority

A seminar on Shiites and Sunnis in Egypt was held at the Journalists Union on September 6, 2006, where a host of scholars and Islamic thinkers participated. The seminar was aimed to ward off attempts of sectarian sedition which some seek to rise within Muslims. The participants unanimously called on Muslims, Sunnis and Shiites alike, to respect each other’s schools of opinion, enjoining the Sunnis from promoting for their sect in a Shiite- dominated area  and vice versa, out of maintaining of the unity of the Nation. Secretary General of the World Union of Muslim Scholars Dr.Mohammed Selim el Awwa said he backs the call for rapprochement between the two sects, an endeavor spearheaded by Chairman of the World Union of Muslim Scholars Dr. Yousuf el Qaradawi. He called on all Muslims to read Dr. Qaradawi’s book “ Rapprochement between Islamic Schools of Opinion “, pointing out that variation of schools of opinion should not have any negative impact on the unity of the Muslim Nation. In his word, the Islamic thinker said that it is not only Hizbullah which fought the Israeli enemy but also the Sunni Muslims did, adding that the crushing defeat which the Israeli enemy sustained at the hands of both the Shiite and Sunni resistance stirred Israel and the US into opening the file of Iran’s nuclear program. Commenting on President Bush rejecting to attend a face to face debate with Iranian President Ahmedi Nejad, Dr. Al Awwa said that President Nejad has a self confidence and clear vision which his US counterpart lacks. On the fatwa issued during the recent Israeli war with Hizbullah which prohibited the cooperation with the Lebanese resistacne on religious grounds, Dr. Al Awwa said that it was a wrongly worded one.