Abu Dhabi, March 9 (IANS/WAM) Over 250 of the world's leading Islamic scholars, academics and thought leaders have gathered here for the opening of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies Sunday.
The two-day forum is the first global conclave of scholars ever organised under the patronage of UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan to form a unified front against the scourge of extremist ideologies, sectarianism, and terrorism that has afflicted the Muslim world for decades.
The ground-breaking initiative is the brainchild of Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah, president of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, one of the world's pre-eminent Islamic scholars who wields enormous influence over Muslim scholars and intellectuals from various denominations from around the world.
Shaykh bin Bayyah serves as the forum president and chairman of the Scientific Committee, which is being hosted by the emirate of Abu Dhabi at St. Regis Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island March 9-10.
Over two days the delegates and high profile speakers will confront the heresies and misunderstandings that have confused ordinary Muslims and divided and devastated societies across the Muslim world.
The forum is considered as the first of many steps in gathering a group of elite Islamic scholars, thinkers and academics by allowing them the opportunity to clarify the true teachings of Islam and remove the distorted image of the Islamic religion.
The scholars and intellectuals are expected to discuss four major themes: humanitarian values, correcting concepts on jihad, fatwa in a world of strife, and the humanistic ethical value.
Among the scholars presenting papers on the first day are Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani from Pakistan, Egypt's Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, Moroccan scholar Mohammed Al-Rouki, Bosnian scholar Mustafa Ceri, Ahmed Abbadi, secretary-general of the League of Mohammedan Scholars and advisor to King Mohammed VI of Morocco, and leading Lebanese Shia cleric Sheikh Hani Fahs.