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Muslim scholars call for UN resolution penalising contempt of religions

By Mohammad Ghazal - Mar 16,2015 - Last updated at Mar 16,2015

AMMAN — Scholars convening in the capital have issued the Amman Declaration, which urges the UN to draft a resolution penalising contempt of religions, prophets and sacred beliefs.

At the conclusion of the International Conference on the “Role of Moderation in Confronting Terrorism for Accomplishing Global Peace and Stability” in Amman late Sunday, participants said endorsing such a resolution will put stop to hate speech and enhance ties between different nations.

Citing the Amman Declaration, Sadiq Al Mahdi, the president of the International Moderation Forum that organised the event, stressed that any attempt to link violence or terrorism to any religion will help terrorists realise their objectives.

In the declaration, the participants voiced their concern over the increasing oppression and hostilities against Muslims, which they said will worsen Islamophobia.

In this regard, they urged Western media to avoid tarnishing the image of Islam, which worsens the situation.

Abdelfattah Mourou, the deputy head of Tunisia’s Ennahdha Party, said media plays a key role in fighting terrorism.

“Several media outlets in the West are deliberately tarnishing the image of Islam. Terrorists thrive on this and pretend they are defending this religion, while they have nothing to do with it,” he told The Jordan Times during the conference.

“Muslims in the West, who number around 18 million, are the first to suffer because of the terrorists’ acts. The West need to understand this as well and their media should be fair,” Mourou said.

The participants, who included Arab and Muslim scholars, and Muslim and Christian religious leaders from more than 26 countries, condemned Israeli violations in occupied Palestinian territories, especially Jerusalem.

They stressed that such violations target Muslim and Christian Palestinians alike, calling on the international community to intervene to put an end to Israeli violations.

Highlighting the need to raise awareness on fighting terrorism and extremism, the participants called for updating school curricula to include concepts and chapters about combating terrorism and entrenching the concepts of moderation, dialogue, acceptance of others and coexistence.

The scholars, who called for unified efforts to address challenges facing the Muslim nation, said there is a dire need for an awakening in the Arab and Muslim world.

They called for continued cooperation among research and religious studies centres across the world to confront terrorism and highlight the true image of Islam.

To address terrorism, the scholars urged paying more attention to young people and attending to their needs as well as addressing socio-economic challenges facing the Muslim nation.

Several issues were addressed during the two-day forum, including the impact of terrorism, types of terrorism against women, reasons leading to terrorism and the role of moderation in fighting extremism.

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