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06 August, 2005

UAE message of peace

While rogue preachers throughout the West are free to push a perverted form of Islam to impressionable young men, in the UAE the message is one of peace and tolerance: true Islam.

Abu Dhabi: Imams of all mosques across the country have strongly denounced the stream of bloody violence in Muslim countries and the entire world, describing those who carry out bloody acts as evil.

The Friday sermon (Jumma Khutba) yesterday focussed on the issue of terror, describing it as an act of evil and perpetrators of terror attacks as evil people.

The imams said terrorism is against Islamic teachings and all other religions and human principles, because Islam is the religion of peace, justice and tolerance. Those who carry out bloody acts are not Muslims and have nothing to do with Islam.

There are several reasons why things are different in the UAE. The first is that the population - national especially - tends to be more highly educated and suffers less poverty than a lot of muslims living in more deprived areas elsewhere in the world.

But crucially, the UAE government actively prevents any misinterpretation of the prophet's message by supervising the appointment of preachers and content of weekly sermons:

"The Federal Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs distributes weekly guidance to both Sunni and Shi'a Sheikhs regarding religious sermons and ensures that clergy do not deviate frequently or significantly from approved topics in their sermons. All Sunni imams are employees of either the Federal Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs or individual emirate ministries. In 1993 the Emirate of Dubai placed private mosques under the control of its Department of Islamic Affairs and Endowments. This change gave the Government control over the appointment of preachers and the conduct of their work."

Western governments should have the guts and wisdom to do likewise.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

06 August, 2005 11:13  
Blogger said...

The problem in the UK isnt simply about having 'rogue terror preachers' giving talks in Mosques. Most mosques I have been too here (in London) are extremely regulated on who they let make sermons...

The problem is that many of the these guys who preach intolerance have their own seperate groups (or circles) outside of the mosque.

Unfortunately there are many young muslim men who (justly) feel that the mainstream mosque does not meet their needs...but then make the deadly mistake of going to these 'circles' and becoming 'brain-washed' by radicals.

The problem is from outside of the mosque not inside....

06 August, 2005 11:19  
Blogger Smokey Mirror said...

Sadly, I can imagine what would happen if Western governments began imposing controls on mosques. Although the intentions would be nothing but good, there would likely be mass resentment in our parts of the world as people rebel against this new form of 'Western aggression towards Islam'.

And all for what? As twisted said, in the majority of the cases, the imams themslves aren't to blame. One bad apple in a mosque community can be quite effective at spreading his ideology.

06 August, 2005 11:28  
Blogger secretdubai said...

What about having the Muslim Council supervise the appointment of preachers?

Things like education, health, driving etc are all regulated by various bodies - it should be no different for any religion.

06 August, 2005 12:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Government regulated sermons, etc. are not a solution. It is merely a means of containment. I don't think it works very well either.

I also think most free societies would not allow for such moves, as it sets a precedence for other not-so-pleasant things to follow.

The media and the government (through education) must work together to change this. Appointing someone to okay a sermon or not is not a long-term solution.

06 August, 2005 13:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This relates to a point that is being discussed on the blogsite Qatar Diary right now - what is the meaning of free?

You may consider England to be one of those "free" countries.

Hoewever, today the UK government announced plans to block "2 radical Islamist groups from operating in the country as part of a raft of measures to be introduced following bomb attacks on London last month." My source is a Reuters report on the NZ Herald website:

I can't see how this will help the situation. Most radical groups that set themselves up and publicise their locations are full of hot air and empty words - it's the ones that you don't hear about that are the most dangerous.

I see merit in both the regulation of what is being said (in schools, churches, mosques etc) and also the right for freedom of speech.

I don't know the answer - where does the balance lie - and who can be trusted to control the balance so that it doesn't swing in either side's favour?

Too much of either is a dangerous thing - especially in today's world where the press and media focus on where the biggest "infotainment" story is, and not always where the true story lies. The loudest and most controversial voices are the ones that gain more airplay and editorial space.

As says, regulation only leads to the radical extremist thinkers being absorbed into movements which operate underground, where their emotions fester until they explode into violent reactions in some innocent neighbourhood somewhere in the world.

06 August, 2005 15:17  
Blogger NewWorldOrder said...

Yoohoo..New Dubai Blog.

06 August, 2005 21:22  
Blogger EclectEcon said...

I would like to think and hope that you are correct. However, consider some of the examples listed here.

07 August, 2005 00:08  
Blogger Shaun said...

I think that the Brits are inching closer to the most appropriate kind of monitoring, which is this: if you advocate, glamorize, or praise violence, then you have to leave - or, at least, stop what you're doing.

Vetting what people say is a bit excessive. If, however, one begins to take a violent tack, then that person should be shut down.

07 August, 2005 02:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Eclectic, you forgot the New York Times!

"The New York Times editorial pages are an open invitation to the extremist elements, holding grudge against Muslims and Islam, to strike terror and let Muslims get blamed for it while the iron is red. Imagine New York Times (July 15, 2005), a sources considered most credible and authentic in the “mainstream media,” telling its readers that 1.2 billion Muslims are raised with the supremacist concept of God: “Muslims are raised with the view that Islam is God 3.0, Christianity is God 2.0, Judaism is God 1.0, and Hinduism is God 0.0.”

You forgot the Washington Times!

" the pages of Washington Times (December 02, 2004): “It is time we admitted that we are not at war with "terrorism." We are at war with Islam…we are absolutely at war with the vision of life that is prescribed to all Muslims in the Koran. The only reason Muslim fundamentalism is a threat to us is because the fundamentals of Islam are a threat to us. Every American should read the Koran and discover the relentlessness with which non-Muslims are vilified in its pages. The idea that Islam is a ‘peaceful religion hijacked by extremists’ is a dangerous fantasy — and it is now a particularly dangerous fantasy for Muslims to indulge.”

There's plenty of anti-semitism to go around on both sides of the semitic fence. Let's eradicate ALL of it!

07 August, 2005 04:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, when i see where the money of dubai's awqaf goes, i'm not sure any imam can receive lessons about his sermons...
i even know so many of them feeling so oppressed and controled whilst they try to preach something right, not the so-called ideology of shmo, bleaching awqaf coins into boeing/airbus s tanks of emirates airline.
Mr.plate n°1 needs his land to be safe from the Truth...
But on the other hand, while preventing right people to work in mosques, can you tell me why places like jumeirah islamic center still exist ? mmm ?

08 August, 2005 00:22  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

You write "Western governments should have the guts and wisdom to do likewise" in reference to supervising the content of sermons. That seems awfully broad and impossible to supervise. And would you recommend Western governments not also supervise Christian sermons too?

08 August, 2005 00:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ummm... I hate to break it to you but supervising the content of religious sermons is in direct violation of our constitution here in the states.

08 August, 2005 19:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel some negativity in your comment about Jumeirah Islamic Centre, which I don't quite understand. It seems to me that those people are doing a much needed job of providing access to and information about Islam to those who don't speak arabic. For non-arabic speakers it is so hard to find out more about Islam in Dubai - suprisingly there are no other organizations that do that here! The centre is a real blessing.

31 August, 2007 15:58  

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