Guidance Conference calls for tolerance and modernization [Archives:2004/750/Front Page]

June 28 2004

Hassan Al-Zaidi
The first guidance conference, held in Sana'a during the period 20-23 June was concluded last Wednesday in presence of nearly 280 participants from all over the world.
Mr. Hamoud Obad, Minister of the Islamic Endowment and Guidance, in his address, reviewed the bases and conditions that must be provided and followed by propagandists in order to be fully aware of the reality and developments in their societies in the light of the challenges and threats facing the community, and the inability of the international community and international organizations to avert injustices or to halt aggressions.
Dr. Esam Al-Bashr, Sudanese Minister of Endowment, on behalf of the participating delegations, confirmed the importance of dealing with others based on Islamic values and virtues that embrace forgiveness. He said that Islamic thoughts suffer today from living on the glorified Islamic heritage and, thus, it is living amid conditions of isolation while wasting time, efforts and money in attempting to imitate the West without taking into consideration the values and attributes of the Islamic culture. This only granted Western countries the opportunity for dominance. He called for the adoption of religious rhetoric based on moderation, and is responsive to international developments.
Dr. Mohamed Sayed Tantawi, Sheikh of Al-Azhr, pointed out that one must have the ability to adjust in one's rhetoric to changes at the local and international levels whilst taking into consideration a good sermon and its ability to influence society.
During the days of the conference, several working papers from Islamic intellectuals were discussed with emphasis on the importance of the modernization and renewal of Islamic rhetoric to encourage moderation and reject extremism and terrorism, which are not by any means connected to Islam.
This conference is considered the first, following the terror incidents that extremists have been carrying out in the region in the name of Islamic Jihad, which the conference rejects in part and as a whole.