Lebanon’s grand Mufti condemns extremism
Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul-Latif Derian said there is a difference between Muslims and Islamist militants (File/AFP)
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Lebanon’s grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul-Latif Derian Tuesday strongly condemned extremism and distanced Muslims from Islamist militants engaged in terrorist acts.
“We, the Muslims in this country, we are part of it, and we are part of this diverse fabric. At this stage, we say, the teachings of Islam are based on a religion of moderation and centrism,” Derian said following a meeting with former Prime Minister Salim Hoss.
“Our Islam is not extremism, our Islam is not a hyperbole, our Islam is not terrorist,” he stressed.
“We aspire to the building of a national and just state that brings together all citizens. A state that is protected by a strong national army supported by all citizens especially in these difficult security conditions Lebanon is going through," Derian added.
"There won't be supportive environments for terrorism in Lebanon."
Derian urged politicians to make up their minds and elect a president to spare Lebanon.
“It’s time for all political parties to be aware of the seriousness of this stage and the seriousness of the crises that can affect Lebanon as a result of the presidential vacuum.”
He praised the Cabinet for its “wisdom” in dealing with the Lebanese hostage crisis while urging the government to address the livelihoods of the Lebanese due to the difficult circumstances they are passing through.
The newly appointed mufti also met with U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly.
After the meeting, Plumbly said he expressed his “admiration for the voice of moderation and tolerance” that the mufti had raised, “which reflect the true face of religion and are vital in the face of the violence and extremism that is threatening Lebanon and the region.”
“I agreed with the mufti that coexistence and communication are the only way forward for Lebanon,” Plumbly added.
He said it was also an opportunity to thank the mufti for the cooperation that has grown between Dar al-Fatwa and the United Nations, particularly in addressing the humanitarian crisis of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
“I promised him that the United Nations would continue to do all it can to help in this regard and to encourage the international community to contribute further to sharing the burden. We looked forward to additional cooperation in this regard.”