Top cleric warns of sect clashes

Top cleric warns of sect clashes

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Top cleric warns of sect clashes

DHA photo

Turkey’s top cleric warned Islamic countries of sectarian clashes in light of spreading conflict between Sunnis and Shiites in the Middle East, saying this situation will not help Muslims’ well-being in the region. 

“In recent years, the policies that seek to dominate world politics using the Sunni-Shiite conflict and win success by adding sectarian motifs to their thinking are unacceptable,” Mehmet Görmez, chief of the Directorate of Religious Affairs, said late Thursday at a fast-breaking dinner hosted by the Iranian ambassador to Turkey, Bahman Housseinpour. 

Görmez’s warnings came at a moment when the entire Middle East region is at risk of massive sectarian clashes, particularly because of the ongoing turmoil in Syria. Iran, the region’s most powerful Shiite country, supports the Syrian regime run by the country’s Alawite minority as well as Lebanon-based Hezbollah. 

Calling all Muslims to embrace their most inclusive identity of being part of Islam and not placing their national, ethnic or geographical identities before it, Görmez said “Muslims should never forget about their main belonging and come up with new identities. If they do this, they can help neither Jerusalem nor Palestine nor Myanmar. In this situation there is no way to help any Muslim in the world.” 

The Iranian envoy also touched on the sectarian problems of the region and accused Israel of trying to create a rift between regional Muslim countries. “The main aim of the Zionist regime is to create problems between Muslim countries. In this situation the thing that Muslims should do is be clever, be smart and be in cooperation with each other so the Zionist regime never succeeds. Our wish is that all Muslim countries stick together,” Housseinpour said.