x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Prayers 'for evil' condemned

In the final lecture of the Ramadan series, a leading preacher says those who advocate violence are 'not good for the Muslim nation'.

Abu Dhabi // The true message of Islam is about the redemption of mankind, not violence and killing, a leading Muslim cleric and preacher said. "Some clerics leading Friday prayers pray for evil and destruction on people, excluding only their own people and neighbourhood," said Dr A'ed al Garni.

"This is not good for the Muslim nation, which is tasked with delivering this global message of mercy." Dr al Garni was giving the last of the Ramadan lectures at the majlis of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The lecture, entitled The Culture of Tolerance, focused on the importance of universal religious and cultural understanding, the state news agency, WAM, reported yesterday.

Across the world, Muslims had managed to live alongside fellow men and women across faiths and backgrounds, said Dr al Garni. Such a peaceful existence could be achieved only through communication and tolerance. Dr al Garni said the Almighty described Islam as "a mercy for all creatures" that should promote goodwill for all mankind regardless of race, creed, sect or nationality. Antagonistic prayer sermons or religious statements should be frowned upon.

"This is against the teachings of Islam and the holy Quran," said Dr al Garni. "Islam calls for a fight against only those who transgress against Muslims and occupy their land." Dr al Garni said it could not be denied that many non-Muslims had helped to shape modern society for the better, contributing to science and the arts. "It is, therefore, untenable to pray for their death and destruction," he said.

Sheikh Tahnoun bin Mohammed al Nahyan, the Abu Dhabi Ruler's representative in the Eastern Region, and Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, were in the audience, which included other dignitaries and members of the diplomatic corps. * The National