Scholars for tolerance, forgiveness after 9/11

ABU DHABI — Religious scholars have called upon the US as well as the international community to move on in a positive way while trying to make sense of 9/11 attacks on America.

By Nada S.mussallam

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Published: Wed 13 Sep 2006, 9:48 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:23 PM

A Memorial Garden at the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi was yesterday dedicated in memory of the victims of 9/11 and all those who perished in terror attacks over the past six years.

Addressing the dedication ceremony, Shaikh Sayed Ali Al Hashimi, Religious Advisor to the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said that self-criticism, self-control and identifying the reasons why people get embroiled in conflicts was very important.

“The violence that we see in several places in the land of God is the result of the beliefs embraced by those who do these outrageous actions and terrible crimes which should not be attributed to Islam or Muslims under any condition”, said Shaikh Hashimi. “Violence and oppression has no religion. Scholars should join forces with the men of religion, politics, thought and economics. All are responsible and that responsibility is shared”, added the Islamic scholar.

He underlined that everyone has an equal responsibility to protect the supreme human values of honesty, forgiveness, cooperation and support the cause of justice.

Chaplain Juan Diphe, a US Air Force reservist, said, “We do not always love as we ought to. And when someone hurts us, it is a natural reaction to want to hurt them back. But as we continue to mourn this tragedy and try to make sense of this event, we as people need to move on in a positive way”.

Placing a shovelful of soil in the first of five ‘Flame of the Wood” shrubs in the memorial garden, Diphe, who has been a veteran priest, stressed that retribution or revenge did not bring justice or peace and only fans further hatred.

Also present at the ceremony were Dr John Hillon, assistant secretary of state for Political-Military Affairs, Dan Sullivan, assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs and Ahmed Saeed, deputy assistant secretary of the treasury. Ahmed Saeed said both the UAE and the US share the phenomenon of globalisation and localisation. “There are problems but the ties that bind us are much stronger than the challenges”, he said.

Responding to a question on whether Muslims and Arabs living in the US had problems post 9/11, Michele J.Sison, US ambassador to the country, said “The US is a country much like the UAE, a very open country that promotes diversity of the spirit of openness. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the US. The US is like the UAE where all faiths are worshipped.”

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