Preeminent Muslim Scholar Mufti of Egypt Ali Juma'ah, underlining dialogue among the civilizations as a pillar of Islam, indicated that Turkey's accession to the European Union (EU) would constitute a very good example in that respect.
Juma'ah told Zaman Turkey's future membership would greatly contribute to the impairment of the "evil Islam" image in the West. Moreover, he indicated that this accession does not pose any threat to Turkey's Muslim identity.
Dialogue originated with the creation of Adam, the Egyptian mufti notes that contact is required for getting acquainted with another party and their ideas.
"Dialogue is not a novelty. Islam has conducted dialogue in Andalusia, Africa, India and elsewhere. Why? For Muslims have a message for the world. In Quran's terms there is no coercion in religion. For that reason Muslims give importance to dialogue. According to the order of the Quran and the hadiths, the addresses of these messages are the whole humanity." The conversation between Moses and Khidr in the Cave (Al-Kahf) Surah in Quran, and the conversation between the owner of the garden and his brother constitute the best examples of dialogue, according to Juma'ah. What is essential to the universe, he told, are conciliation and dialogue rather than strife. "Of course there is strife; but it is not essential. We are not created to fight. Fighting is not regarded as good, but, in terms of Koran verses, has solely been permitted for settling certain problems." Juma'ah emphasized the importance of the fact that the verse that reads, "We have separated you into nations and lineages so that you can know each other and look after each other" addresses the whole of humanity.
Mufti Juma'ah noting the misinterpretation of dialogue initiatives was improper and incorrect stressed that the current situation of the Islamic world was an end product of a deeper inner crises during the 19th and 20th centuries. "It is not that we establish dialogue because we are weak. Our religion has a deep rooted civilization. We would like to convey this to people. That's why we establish dialogue with people. Islam is a civilization that people need," he said.
The Egyptian Mufti also spoke about Turkey's role as a bridge between the East and the West, aside from its membership to the European Union. Indicating that no countries should be isolated from their original identities for any reason, Juma'ah continued: "Turkey's integration with the European Union is something that is desired. It will be a good model for Muslims because many people are afraid of Islam since it is represented falsely. Turkey joining the European Union will be an important and positive model for all Muslims. Turkey's membership does not require leaving its identity to one side; rather it will serve as a means for mutual assistance, development of civilization and the establishment of good neighboring relations."
'Fethullah Gülen is an excellent model for the entire world'
The Egyptian Mufti, maintaining several Muslim thinkers, intellectuals, scholars and scholars of Islamic law (mujtahid) have served humanity and disseminated their religion to the four corners of the globe throughout history, remarked this was achieved though good neighboring relations, commercial activities between different cultures, establishment of schools in different countries, inter-cultural marriages, and non-colonization of lands conquered.
Islam is an explicit religion Juma'ah said, and it has no hidden agenda. All these have been successfully achieved by Fethullah Gülen in today's world. He praised Gülen for appealing to individual's minds and hearts in an appropriate way, and for being able to explain the explicitness of Islam to people by establishing schools in several countries, encouraging inter-cultural marriages and commercial relations, writing books, and most of all, by "nurturing people to improve and build the Earth". (By Cumali Onal, Cairo) Samanyolu TV