Hyderabad, Feb 15 (IANS) Citing India as a living example of peaceful co-existence of people of different religious and ethnicities, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday called for unity between Shias and Sunnis.
Stating that there can be no military solution to conflicts, he said that Iran seeks brotherly relations with all the Muslims nations and the countries of the region including India.
He was addressing Muslim leaders and scholars belonging to different Islamic schools of thought here on Thursday, the first day of his three-day visit to India.
His half an hour long address was focused on calling for the unity among the Shias and Sunnis while holding the West responsible for sowing the seeds of discords among various sects of Muslims.
“India is a living museum of different ethnicities and religions peacefully co-existing. This process is going on for centuries. Shia, Sunnis, Sufis, Hindus, Sikhs and others are living together. They together built their country and built their civilization,” he said in his speech in Persian.
He alleged that the West created rift among Muslims by instigated certain groups and outfits.
“They portray themselves as Islamic groups but we call them ‘takfiri’. All those who follow ‘qibla’ (the direction in which Muslims offer namaz) and believe that there is no god but Allah and Mohammad is His last messenger are living together as brothers,” he said.
Claiming that Iran in recent years made efforts to end conflicts and bloodshed in the region, he said that his country plans to enhance brotherhood with all Muslim nations and countries of the region.
“Iran is not seeking any discord with the other Muslim countries who have age old relations with us. We believe that in case of differences, bullet is the not the solution. Dialogue and logic are the tools at our disposal to overcome the differences. There is no military solution. The solution has to be political,” said Rouhani.
The Iranian leader said his country was ready to help countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
He said the enemies of Islam were trying to portray Islam as a religion of violence. “The fact is that Islam is a religion of moderation, tolerance and forgiveness”, he said extensively quoting from Quran and the sayings of Prophet Mohammad.
Rouhani also lashed out at the West for targeting the culture of the Eastern countries and adopting an unfair attitude on the question of sharing the scientific knowledge and technology.
“The tyranny and oppression was the root cause of the conflicts in the world today. Oppressed nations have a right to defend themselves,” he said.