Correcting perceptions: Muslim states should fix Islam’s public image, says Rowhani

Iranian president wants both financial and cultural poverty eliminated

Afp December 27, 2015

TEHRAN: Iran's President Hassan Rowhani on Sunday said 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’.

He said most violence, terror and massacres, unfortunately, took place in the Islamic world.

"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, without taking any country’s name.

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

"If some groups like Da’ish can recruit soldiers, the reason is financial and cultural poverty," Rouhani said. Both types of poverty should be eliminated from Islamic society, he said, adding that terrorism will not be destroyed by bombs.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2015.

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