Muslim states should fix Islam's public image: Rouhani

Published: December 27, 2015


TEHRAN: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday said that Muslim countries should strive to improve the world’s opinion of Islam.

“We must remove Islam’s negative image from today’s cyber and real space,” he said in Tehran at an international conference on “The Islamic World’s Current Crisis”.

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Most “violence, terror and massacres, unfortunately, take place in the Islamic world,” he said.

“I invite all Islamic countries in this region and beyond – even those who until today have bombed and launched missiles on their neighbours – for all of us to stop this and choose the right path,” he said.

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He did not give any country names.

Shiite Iran supports Yemen’s Huthi rebels, while its Sunni-ruled regional rival Saudi Arabia leads a military coalition that has been bombing them in support of the loyalists since March.

“How many bombs and missiles have you purchased from America this year?” he asked.

“If you had distributed the money for those bombs and missiles among poor Muslims, nobody would be going to bed hungry.”

Tehran also backs the Syrian regime, whose army is fighting rebels and militants, including the Islamic State group that has taken over large swathes of the country and neighbouring Iraq.

“If some groups like Daesh can recruit soldiers, the reason is financial and cultural poverty,” Rouhani said, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

Both types of poverty should be eliminated from “Islamic society”, he said. “Terrorism will not be destroyed by bombs.”

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“For years and years, we have talked of unity. Is unity possible without economic connections within the Islamic world,” he asked.

The Syria and Iraq conflicts only benefit Israel and “those who are against Muslims”, he said.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Pakistani
    Dec 27, 2015 - 5:06PM

    He must be joking as Iran is one of the country inciting terrorism in name of sunni\shia conflict in gulf countries.Recommend

  • vinsin
    Dec 27, 2015 - 5:06PM

    Yep, had Palestinians moved to Jordan or Syria as per partition, it would have required far less money then fighting.

    Will Iran allows secularism and liberalism and Zorastrians back into their countries.

    Iran be the change that you want to see in the world.

    Cultural poverty can only go by removing identity crisis from which many Iranians themselves suffers.

    His statements are conflicting because of cultural poverty.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Dec 27, 2015 - 7:48PM

    Iranian Mullahs were the first to start violence, terror and massacres. After revolution, hundreds of thousands were killed in the name of Islam. Rest is all action and reaction. Recommend

  • Hameed
    Dec 27, 2015 - 8:55PM

    Start with Iran. Stop oppressing your people. Give people right to have real democracy not mullacracy.Recommend

  • Wizarat
    Dec 27, 2015 - 9:06PM

    There are intra Muslim conflicts in at least 27 so called Muslim Majority countries. Mr. Rouhani has a point, These countries purchase all the killing material either from the US, UK, Russia, Germany or from former soviet countries. If only they could use these resources on their own people, no one would go hungry or die because he/she did not had medicine/medical care.

    Muslim countries make others rich while their neighbours go to sleep on the street hungry.Recommend

  • cautious
    Dec 27, 2015 - 9:16PM

    “How many bombs and missiles have you purchased from America this year?” he asked.
    “If you had distributed the money for those bombs and missiles among poor Muslims, nobody would be going to bed hungry.”

    Iran is armed to the teeth – has a long history of sponsoring terrorism – currently has soldiers fighting in Iraq and Syria – and has more poor people than Saudi Arabia. I suggest he grab a mirror before he starts pointing fingers.Recommend

  • curious2
    Dec 27, 2015 - 9:34PM

    Isn’t Iran the country who’s religious leaders promote chanting “death to America” and “death to UK, Israel, etc”? If he’s trying to “fix” Islam’s public image maybe he should fix that first?Recommend

  • Rollin & Trollin
    Dec 27, 2015 - 9:46PM

    Rouhani is absolutely rightRecommend

  • Nasir Hafeez
    Dec 27, 2015 - 11:21PM

    Appreciate the sentiment. The first step would be to stop the Shia/Sunni divide being propagated by the enemies of Muslims. Prime example being Iraq where this divide was exasperated after the barbaric invasion of Iraq. Barbaric, considering that the number of innocents who were killed on a false premise. Recommend

  • Rapper
    Dec 28, 2015 - 7:59AM

    The moment you say ‘Islamic’ there ends the matter.Recommend

  • Reader
    Dec 30, 2015 - 12:43PM

    The only hope is that the image should not get even worse, unfortunately that is wish full thinking. Recommend

  • freed
    Dec 30, 2015 - 2:21PM

    Kings and mullahs fight out the proxy wars while retaining power and control as primary motive. Education and moderation is biggest threat to them, so the simpleton minds must be occpied with these trivial sunni/ shia matters. Recommend

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