Diyanet's June 18 statement (In English)

Diyanet's June 18 statement (In English)

Appeal to the Islamic world for common sense

Social crises that are being experienced in the Islamic world, political and military tensions, attempts to base conflicts on sects and disposition have reached serious dimensions that are threatening not only the region but the whole Islamic world with consequences that could be beyond repair.

The chaotic environment that is being experienced in the Iraqi and Syrian axis has fueled tensions to new heights with new events led by the situation in Mosul. The reciprocal statements that contain violence, declarations of Jihad, threats aimed at the destruction of holy shrines, kidnappings and killings should be regarded as the pre-shocks of the approaching mass disasters. It is inevitable that the Islamic world will suffer permanent humane, social, religious and sectarian divisions if these events continue to escalate unabated.

Within this framework we invite everyone to move together for the solution of the problem and act according to the following points.

1. The Muslim identity is above all sectarian, dispositional and political considerations. No structure should be allowed to spoil Islamic fraternity and unity. According to the Quran and and the Sunnah (teachings and actions of the Prophet) the lives, the blood, the wealth and the honor of people are untouchable. Shedding the blood of a person unjustly is regarded as the greatest crime according to religion.

2. There is no way to run a community on a structure based on religious, sectarian and ethnic principles especially as this community has existed for 1400 years with all its differences. No one or no group can declare war against the beliefs, values and thoughts of others. Everyone should have the right to live freely on the lands they live in accordance with their historical accumulation. Every action and attitude contrary to this should be regarded as elements trying to create sedition on these lands which are the home of the land of greetings and faith.

3. To regard the traditions that emerged between the Ahl al-Beyt and the Ahle Sunnah in the course of history as opposing sides and thus struggle strategies based on this should be seen as a great act of sedition. Both Ahl al-Beyt and Ahle Sunnah belong to the Prophet. To support the view that these are involved in conflict and to support this view can never be accepted.

4. No Muslim group, faction or community can accept its own religious understanding as the truth and alienate other religious approaches and declare them unbelievers and condemn them to death. This is unacceptable.

5. Every person who calls themselves a Muslim is in the Islamic circle. No one has the authority to rule others as non Muslims. In history those who declared others as unbelievers have been condemned by the collective consciences of the Muslims. Today it is clear that such emergent views will be rejected by the consciences of the Muslims. The foresight and perception of Muslims with common sense and conscience will not allow such structures to take root.

6. A structure that is being constructed on driving defenseless people, children and women from their homes and destroying them as the victims of a clash of interests cannot identify itself with Islam. This is unacceptable.

7. The statements of some sides that targets the graves of the spiritual personalities of the Ahl al-Bayt elderlies like Hazrat Ali, Hazrat Hussein and Abu’l Fadıl Abbas who lie in Karbala and Najaf can never be accepted. Because exceptional locations like Najaf and Karbala, elderlies like Hazrat Ali, Hazrat Hussein and Abu’l Fadıl Abbas are not the values of Shiites and Sunnis but they are the common and great values of all the Islamic nation.

8. At the same time a declaration of jihad of some sides against the other cannot be accepted. Because the Quran and the teachings and actions of the Prophet has never commanded a jihad that allows the shedding of the life and blood of a Muslim by another Muslim. The greatest jihad that the Muslims can declare today is the all out jihad against ignorance, poevrty, oppression, sedition and discord. No one can justify the creation of new wrong doings in the name of a jihad against oppression.

9. The individual fatwas by scholars and religious institutions during this event, this is a source of deep concern. The great duty that falls upon such scholars is to strive for reconstructing the morals and rules of living together in peace by keeping in mind the religious, language, disposition and ideological differences that exist in the Islamic world instead of issuing fatwas that only serve to create divisions in the society. Today fatwas that lead to bloodshed have no value just as words that fail to extinguish the fire of sedition have no meaning. Failure to do this will push the Islamic world into an environment of crime and will turn the scholars into criminal accomplices. It is not enough to observe this situation with deep concern. It is an utmost necessity to make an effort to put out the emerging fire of sedition before it engulfs the whole geography.

10. Representatives of religious institutions and establishments in the regions of hot conflict should get together and make an effort to come up with initiatives to solve the problems based on religion and morals starting with Iraq and Syria. A delegation comprised of opinion leaders in the area of religion and morals in the Islamic world should take an initiative that aims to eliminate the polarization based on sectarianism. Accordingly the Muslim institutions and establishments with international status should shoulder responsibility. The Office of the Head of the Turkish Religious Affairs (Diyanet) will only be happy to lead such an effort of bringing together the Sunni and Shiite scholars throughout the world. 

We respectfully inform the public.