Following are excerpts in this regard from a recent speech by senior religious scholar, Ayatollah Mohsin Araki, the Secretary-General of the Tehran-based World Forum for Proximity among Islamic Schools of Jurisprudence.
The Heavenly Scripture Qur’an introduces Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) as a person whom God selected and raised as Messenger to the entire mankind to bring justice, said Ayatollah Mohsen Araki, in his speech at the meeting whose theme was “Islamic Unity, Probing Shi’a and Sunni Extremist Streams.” He stressed the pivotal role of the Prophet of Islam in bringing justice to the world. He added that the Prophets and the Infallible Imams spent their lives for making justice prevail in the world, and for arriving at this very objective, people should also have made a move and helped them but they did not, and instead turned a blind eye to their religious duties. The right path is defined by the Prophet, urging Muslims to hold fast to the teachings of the holy Qur’an and abide by the exemplary lifestyle of the Infallible Ahl al-Bayt. The Ayatollah said: If unity and solidarity prevails among Islamic schools of jurisprudence, they can be at the helm of power, but he added, the enemies are trying to destroy the unity between Shi’a and Sunni by sparing no effort to advancing their nefarious objectives.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Araki touched upon some extremist moves and rituals which are done and held under the name of Islam, but which negatively affect the dynamic message of the divine religion of Islam. He also pointed to anti-Shi’a moves which are perpetrated and orchestrated by some extremist groups and thugs in the society, and went on to add that such measures have nothing to do with the teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt. He underlined those who perpetrate such misdeeds are after projecting a false image of Shi’a teachings. In his speech the Ayatollah said the enemies of Islam are after permeating and promulgating some deviated practices and standpoints under the camouflage of the Shi’a School. They present such fake practices in the western societies as the hallmark of Shi’a Muslims. The Secretary-General of the World Forum for Proximity among Islamic Schools of Jurisprudence dismissed all such innovations and said that any extremist move is not acceptable by the true Shi’a people. He cautioned the followers of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt of the plots and ploys of the enemies in this area, urging them to refrain from blindly following the deviated groups. He took note of the simple lifestyle of some religious authorities including Ayatollah Boroujerdi and Shaikh Morteza Ansari. He underscored that the exemplary code of behaviour of such ulema should be counted as an icon by Muslims.
Ayatollah Mohsen Araki cautioned Muslim youth who join extremist groups on the assumption of safeguarding the divine religion of Islam, against being misled by the deviationists. He pointed to the crimes being committed under the name of Islam and deplored the policies of certain countries that are behind such mischievous moves to promote anti-Islamic measures in the name of Islam. The genuine teachings and instructions of Islam never approve such extremist measures, violence and crimes against humanity. He said the enemies of Islamic unity claim that “Shi’ias are seeking to seeking to monopolize the entire world.” This is wrong he added, and called on all conscientious Shi’as and Sunnis to stand against such poisonous propaganda. These groups are obviously exaggerating the white lie that “Shi’a Muslims control the reins of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and are plunging Bahrain in a crisis. Through such cunning way, the enemies are misleading the youths.” Ayatollah Araki said what we are witnessing is a malignant propaganda by ISIL and al-Qaeda, which by nature, are engendered by these powers. The Secretary-General Secretary of the World Forum for Proximity among Islamic Schools of Jurisprudence warned Muslims of the great danger threatening the World of Islam. The propaganda against Shi’a Muslims, he said, is intended to widen the gap between Shi’a and Sunni peoples. According to Ayatollah Araki, the enemies aim to sabotage the sincere efforts of the Islamic Republic of Iran for promoting unity and solidarity, and instead seek to pit Sunni and Shi’a Muslims with each other. He spotlighted the stances and positions of certain Arab reactionary regimes to wreck Islamic solidarity, and called on all Shi’a and Sunni people to be more vigilant in this regard. For Ayatollah Mohsen Araki, the main danger threatening Muslim societies is a fake sect introduced in the West including London, in the guise of Shi’a Muslims. He appealed to Muslims worldwide including the Sunni brethren to foil such plots.