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Muslims worldwide must unite, rise above sects: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

Rouhani, who is on a three-day visit to India, said people who think Islam is a religion of "violence and terrorism" are wrong in their assessment.

Reported by: IANS, Hyderabad [ Published on: February 16, 2018 23:59 IST ]
Muslims worldwide must unite, rise above sects: Iranian
Muslims worldwide must unite, rise above sects: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani today called for unity among the global Muslim community and asserted if they had been united, the US would not have dared to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Rouhani, who is on a three-day visit to India, said people who think Islam is a religion of "violence and terrorism" are wrong in their assessment.

He was addressing a Muslim congregation at the historic Mecca Masjid here, after offering Friday prayers.

"If Muslims of the world were united, these countries would not have dared to torture Muslims of Palestine every day," he said, without naming any country.

"Had Muslims been united, the USA would not have dared to announce Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," the Iranian leader said.

In early December, US President Donald Trump announced he would break with decades of American policy and move his embassy to Jerusalem. The move stirred global condemnation and protests across the Palestinian territories and the Arab world.

The status of Jerusalem is one of the most controversial issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In his speech, Rouhani also referred to some of the shooting incidents in educational institutions in the USA, resulting in deaths of people.

The latest one took place on February 14 in a Florida high school, where an expelled former student, armed with a powerful assault rifle, unleashed a hail of gunfire, killing 17 people and injuring 15 others.

"Some people alleged that Islam is a religion of violence and terrorism. But they are wrong in their assessment of Islam. On the contrary violence is there in Western societies. We see people killing other people in American colleges and schools," he added.

The Iranian leader said Muslims have many sects but they should tolerate each other and respect other religions too.

"Though there are many sects such as Shia and Sunni, Muslims should tolerate each other and respect all Muslims and other religions also," he said.

According to him, Muslims should rise above sectarian differences and accept all sects of the community as one.

Rouhani began his three-day India visit from Hyderabad where he arrived last evening.

This was his second visit to Hyderabad and the first after assuming charge as the president of Iran in 2013.

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