Military option is not the way out, says OIC chief


Saudi Gazette

— The International Ulema Conference on Afghanistan Peace and Security got underway here on Tuesday with a 35-member Ulema delegation from Afghanistan led by head of the Ulema Council, Mawlawi Qayamuddin Kashaf, in attendance.

More than 200 representatives from 57 countries and 108 Ulema members from 32 countries are attending the conference.

The head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Yousef Bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen said activities are ongoing in Afghanistan which are not in accordance with Islam.
 “Military operation is not the way out of war in Afghanistan,” he said, adding that “OIC is ready to cooperate with Afghanistan in attaining peace.”

The conference made a clarion call to the government and people of Afghanistan to turn the page of the past and open a new page of unity, tolerance and renunciation of violence in compliance with the sublime values of the religion of Islam.

Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Abdullatief Al-Sheikh, Mawlawi Kashaf and eminent Saudi scholar and Imam of the Grand Mosque Sheikh Saleh Bin Humaid addressed the opening session of the conference.

Jeddah is hosting the first day of the conference while the second day deliberations are scheduled for Makkah on Wednesday. The themes of the two plenary sessions of the conference are “Reconciliation in Islam: The role of scholars in establishing peace and stability in Afghanistan,” and “Islam’s position on terrorism and violent extremism.”

In his opening speech, Al-Othaimeen called on Afghans to respond positively to King Salman’s sincere invitation to focus on what is beneficial for their country through a much-sought after reconciliation and work to achieve security and stability for the country and its people. “The conference aims to consolidate peace and stability in Afghanistan and condemn terrorism and violent extremism in all their forms. The conference is expected to lead to facilitating the process of national reconciliation in Afghanistan and stop all acts of terrorism and extremism that contradict the teachings of Islam,” he said.

Afghanistan, one of the founding countries of OIC, is crying out and calling on all to stand with it and support it to achieve security and stability in the region, the OIC chief said.

“The outcome of our meeting today will not only be reflected in the situation in Afghanistan, but also in the entire Muslim World, and would actively contribute to addressing the question of misinterpretation of religion,” he added.

In his speech, Al-Sheikh underscored the great responsibility placed on the scholars in defining realities, and staying away from tendencies for divisions and strife.

On his part, Kashaf hoped that the conference would play the role of a mediator for peace and stability. Sheikh Bin Humaid stressed the responsibility of scholars in promoting a spirit of tolerance and coexistence among the members of society and expressed hope that the conference would set a course toward peace and security in the war-torn country.