By: Ahmed Imbabi
The Islamic preacher Al-Habib Ali Al-Jifri, the Director General of the Tabah Foundation for Islamic Studies, has summed up ways of renewing religious discourse, and confronting radical and terrorist thought.
He said in a televised interview with BBC: "We should admit that there are problems in formulating the modern Islamic discourse."
He considered that the problem in formulating the modern Islamic discourse is that it has been exploited and employed by the extremist because of the absence of strategic vision of the governments in the region to identify the Islamic identity for the Arabic youth in the future and their attitude towards Modern Developments over the next 50 years.
Al-Jifri has criticized the lack for defining a vision of a strategic dimension for the youth such as what is happening with the future developments' visions, pointing out that such visions will benefit now if there is a political will that knows the importance of these visions for youth.
In order to create such religious discourse, Al- Jifri has identified a number of important aspects:
- The need to conduct a religious studies and debates to rebut the extremist ideas. He indicated that the governments must abandon the urgent and temporary dealing with crises, adding that these studies should stick to three main steps:
- First step – sectarian work: In this stage, the extremist thoughts must be eliminated, especially that there is real confusion that drives the youth to blow themselves up, kill and burn the others.
- Second step – doctrine issue: There are doctrine-related issues that stand before the development process and advancing the nations. These issues are subjecting to review and reconsideration in the Islamic law, because they are not expressly established and there is a need to review them deeply.
- Third step – third phase: It is an in-depth phase, so that there must be among us who has philosophical depth in the formulation of the cognitive model to get out of this chaos. The chaos of political work, the chaos of economic work, and the chaos of international relations that require a global participation. That means we have a contribution to shaping the world's thinking, or we will continue to be consumers of what is intellectually produced and will not get out of from the vicious circle.
The relation between religion and regional crises:
Al-Jifri has responded to the attempts to what he called accusing religion of having political conflict in the region, saying that the calls for protesting against regimes claiming that they are injustice regimes are not true, because the matter is deeper than the injustice regimes. "If this matter continues, we will be part of a game of the action and reaction till our region goes under more than it is today.
"The state is being destroyed with the allegation of freedom and confronting regimes," he stated.
Al-Jifri added that he criticized many regimes in the region, stressing that freedom claims was a cause of the demolition of the state but the regimes do not demolish. Referring to the revolutions of what is known as the Arab Spring.
He stressed that he is against any call or sectarian discourse that is an umbrella for political struggle.
"What is happening in the region is political conflict and does not accept accusing religion or employing it in political conflict," he continued.
The Sunni-Shia conflict:
Al-Jifri considered that what is said about the conflict between the Sunnis and the Shiites is not true; assuring that what is happening now in our region is a political conflict.
"There are those who are afraid of repeating the model of other countries so they confront them and this is their right," he said.
"The talk about a conflict between the Sunni and Shiite is unacceptable. I am a Sunni man, but I refuses disbelieving Shiite, because they are our brothers. He stressed that there is a radical disagreement in the doctrinal aspects between the Sunnis and Shiites, but its place is the educational halls," Al-Jifri stated. He refuses to employ this dispute politically, because this problem has been exploited externally.
Al-Jifri said "We lack something that is called building a man, we have a ruined man, our governments are deficient and everyone bears the responsibility, the conflicting interests that have turned our region into a proxy land of war that can be achieved without the destruction of the region."
Supporting the Egyptian state:
Regarding his opinion on what is happening in Egypt, Al-Jifri announced he had supported the survival of the Egyptian state and the Egyptian army to maintain the survival of the Egyptian state.
He added that there is a difference between supporting the survival of the Egyptian state, and what is rumored that he is supporting President El-Sisi, stressing that he supports the survival of the army and the Egyptian state and does not care about what is said or promoted about him.