TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad highlighted the leading role of religious scholars in the Islamic world unity, asking Muslim clerics to come up with a scheme to address Takfirism.

The Syrian government believes in the important role of clerics and the benefits of Muslim unity in the current delicate situation, Assad said in a meeting with Secretary General of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought (WFPIST) Ayatollah Mohsen Araki.

The meeting was held in Damascus, on the sidelines of an international conference on Islamic unity.

Lauding the presence of Muslim clerics and scholars in the ongoing conference amid an anti-Syrian offensive by the arrogant powers, Assad said it demonstrates Muslim support for the axis of resistance and Syria.

He also called on Muslim clerics to study the intellectual principles of unity and resistance to identify the “virus of Takfirism” and offer an “antidote” to it.

Assad further commended Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei for supporting the Syrian nation and his government.

For his part, the Iranian cleric thanked the Damascus government for holding the unity conference.

Ayatollah Araki also proposed plans for the establishment of a center for promoting moderate Islam, a council on Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), and a university of Islamic denominations in Syria.

Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh (ISIL), controlling parts of it.

According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.

Throughout these years, Iran has remained a close ally of Syria and supports its legitimate government in the face of foreign-backed militancy.