Press Shia – Ayatollah Hadavi-Tehrani said that coexistence and dialogue are solutions to the fight against Islamophobia in the West.

Press Shia – Speaking at a conference entitled “Islam in Europe: Prospects and Challenges,” which was held by the al-Hikmah Institute at the Imam Khomeyni Higher Education Complex, a branch of al-Mustafa International University, in the Iranian holy city of Qom, on 7 February Ayatollah Dr. Mahdi Hadavi-Tehrani spoke about the issue of Islamophobia and various kinds of extremism.

Also speaking at the conference were a large number of professors and scholars from prominent universities in the Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Italy and the Netherlands who presented papers at the conference.

The professor of Islamic philosophy and jurisprudence in the Islamic Seminary of Qom referred to finding a solution to Islamophobia as the most important issue in regard to Islam in Europe, saying that some in the West assume that genocide, the same issue that is currently occurring in Myanmar, and the forced emigration of Muslims and their expulsion from this country is a solution to Islamophobia, while a correct and peaceful solution to this issue is through “reciprocal coexistence.”

Speaking in English, Ayatollah Hadavi-Tehrani added that coexistence and mutual discourse can be implemented and added, “To have a mutual understanding of each other, we have to have a correct image of each other.”

Referring to the issue of extremism, His Eminence pointed out that the problem of extremism is something beyond the problem of Islamic extremism and even religion, and added, “We have Jewish and Christian extremists as well. Jewish extremism is Zionism, whose ideology has been criticized by many Jews in the world. Christian extremism is Protestant Evangelicalism, especially that in the United States. There is Buddhist extremism in Myanmar and extremist Hinduism in India. We also have non-religious extremism which is the same as secularism.”

He further said that the solution to the issue of Islamic extremism is through “tadabbur,” saying, “‘Tadabbur’ in Islam provides a complete systematic approach and ‘tadabbur’ that does not just mean thinking but rather it is a system for fairly comparing religions with each other and the result of this is mutual understanding.”

Ayatollah Hadavi-Tehrani said that there are many similarities between the methodology of Shi’ah Islam and Roman Catholicism and said, “Shi’ah Muslims, like Catholics, believe in the simultaneous existence of the rationality and importance of the sunnah and the divine scriptures. In addition, as the Wahhabis and Salafis consider Shi’ahs as infidels, many Orthodox and Protestant Christians also do consider Catholics as true Christians.”