JNN 24 Jan 2013 Tehran : Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has warned against evil plots aimed at causing division among Shia and Sunni Muslims, stressing the importance of reinforcing unity among Muslim nations across the world.
Addressing the closing ceremony of an international Qur’an competition of Muslim countries’ armed forces in the Iranian capital, Tehran on Thursday, President Ahmadinejad denounced sectarian and tribal issues, saying that the Qur’an and Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) belong to all Muslims and even followers of all divine religions, including Jews, Christians and all human beings.
The president stated that the incorrect interpretation of the Qur’an would cause problems.
“The Zionist regime [of Israel] has established its dominance over a group of Muslims through deceit and lies, and Muslims are not united enough to confront this occupying regime because of different and incomplete interpretations of Qur’an.”
Ahmadinejad noted that many individuals and governments have claimed that they seek to promote freedom across the world, protect human rights, establish democracy and eradicate cruelty and discrimination “but they have turned into main elements of destruction of freedom and justice.”
The Iranian chief executive reiterated that the world is currently in need of unity and justice and eradication of discrimination and cruelty more than ever before.
However Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says the so-called issue of divide between Shia and Sunni Muslims is a plot hatched by the enemies of Islam.
In a meeting with the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb in Cairo on Thursday, Salehi also called on Muslims to avoid conflicts and rely on commonalties instead.
“Enemies have made great efforts during recent years to cause a rift among Muslims and also to intensify it,” he added.
Salehi invited the Sheikh of Al-Azhar to visit Iran to hold talks with Iranian clerics and observe the peaceful coexistence of Shia and Sunni Muslims in the Islamic Republic.
Al-Tayeb, for his part, urged Muslims to foster unity and said enemies should not be allowed to achieve their objectives to create conflicts in the Muslim world.
Meanwhile, in a meeting with Patriarch of Egypt’s Coptic Christians Pope Tawadros II, the Iranian minister highlighted the significance of peaceful coexistence of Muslims and Christians.
Pope Tawadros, for his part, said Iran has a historical civilization and followers of different religions, including Zoroastrians, Jews, Christians and Muslims, have had a brotherly coexistence in the country.
Salehi wrapped up his day-long visit to Egypt and arrived in Tehran early on Friday.
During his Cairo trip, the Iranian minister held talks with senior Egyptian officials, including President Mohamed Morsi and Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr on Thursday.
Salehi also exchanged views with UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi on the latest developments in the region and the Syrian unrest in particular.
The Iranian minister began his tour of African countries on Saturday and visited Benin, Ghana and Burkina Faso.