Press Shia – The representative of the people of Esfahan in the Assembly of Experts said: “Unfortunately, today there people from among both the Shi’ah and Sunnis who do not have knowledge of religious principles and insult the sanctities of the another sect.”

Press Shia – In a meeting with a number of Sunni scholars in the Iranian Red Crescent’s office in Esfahan, Ayatollah Sayyed Abolhasan Mahdavi responded to a question regarding the necessity of unity among the Islamic ummah, “What are the components for strengthening the unity between different sects?” saying, “The necessity of practical unity between different Islamic sects is a proven principle from both the Quran and narrations and the continuation of this practical unity has many components, the most important of which is the consideration and reliance on the principles of different Islamic sects, not insulting each other’s sanctities and holding various gatherings of religious approximation.”

The teacher of theology in the Islamic Seminary said, “Ayatollah al-Sistani has explained the question of the unity between Shi’ahs and Sunnis in a new way. He said, ‘Sunnis are from ourselves. The term ‘unity’ emanates from duality because when some hear the word ‘unity,’ some think that Sunni and Shi’ism are two sects which are completely separate from each other.’”

He continued, “The extremist Takfiri and Daesh groups who carry the flag of Islam while killing Muslims, both Sunnis and Shi’ahs, cannot be Muslim. From the perspective of Islam, one who says the shahadah has become a Muslim but the hostile behaviour of the Wahhabis and Takfiris isn’t Islamic at all.”

Ayatollah Mahdavi said that various Islamic sects, despite their differences of opinion, share many common beliefs and practical unity must be established which centered around these commonalities. The beliefs of monotheism, prophethood, resurrection, the Quran are some of the commonalities among the various different sects of Islam and these must be given more attention. When God tells the Prophet [Muhammad] in the Quran ‘tell the Jews and Christians to come together under the umbrella of monotheism,’ the duty of the Shi’ahs and Sunnis regarding unity is very clear.”

The representative of the people of Esfahan in the Assembly of Experts said that there is not even one case of insulting the sanctities of other religions in the biographies of the Ahlul-Bayt and the Ahlul-Bayt, as the leaders of the Shi’ahs, have never insulted the sanctities of other religions or sects, especially Sunnis, and didn’t even appoint anyone else to insult them but unfortunately, nowadays, people from among the Shi’ahs and Sunnis who don’t have knowledge of religious principles, insult the sanctities of the other sect.”

He noted that one of the positions that has become widespread in the current era is the insulting of the sanctities of other religions and sects and explained, “Satellite networks have established ‘English Shi’ism’ and ‘American Sunnism’ as opposed to each other. This is rejected by both Shi’ahs and Sunnis. The enemies focus on groups which are mentally weak and they are abusing their ignorance. The United Kingdom, which seeks the complete destruction of Islam in the world, has established Shi’ah radical sects. On the day of Ashura, their police support people engaging in self-flagellation in the middle of the streets and after taking videos and pictures and distributing them in the media and online, they introduce the Shi’ah school of thought as a barbaric and savage school of thought.”

Ayatollah Mahdavi pointed out, “Unfortunately, the centres of Islam, Makkah and Madinah, have fallen into the hand of Wahhabis who are taking positions against Muslims but are friends with the enemies of Islam – the United States and Israel. The Hajj symbolizes the unity between different sects Is Islamic, and we must take more interest in the Hajj pilgrimage in order to create unity and fight the common enemies of Muslims.”