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Why extremists cannot be considered as Muslims, by Iran’s envoy

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Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari (R) shakes hand with Iran Ambassador to Nigeria Morteza Rahimi Zarchi, while Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (C) stands during their visit to the presidency in Abuja recently. PHOTO: AFP

The Ambassador of Iran in Nigeria, Morteza Rahimi Zarchi, has declared that people involved in extremism do not belong to any school of thought and as well cannot be considered as Muslims.

Zarchi, while addressing the media in Abuja, said the Iranian society and community are a peace living nation, but they are not suppose to change their national interests with anything else.

On the ballistic missile test, he said: “Iran makes its own decisions based on its national interest and i think others must pay attention to this situation. In two weeks time, there would be a world wrestling event in Iran, although United States doesn’t have a good stance with Iran, we are going to issue visas to American wrestlers coming to the event,”

While noting that Iran had declared its readiness to cooperate with friendly nations, including Nigeria, together with other co-operations existing between both countries, he added that cooperation in the security sector and services is also being considered.

Zarchi declared that the Islamic Republic of Iran condemns actions of extremists worldwide regardless of their philosophy or schools of thought and said they cannot be considered as Muslims.

Describing actions of extremists as totally against teachings of Islam, the Ambassador noted that Iran is also a victim of terrorism and one of the main powers fighting it.

He said several extremist groups though consider themselves as Sunmi groups, their claims are not accepted because their actions are not in compliance with Islamic teachings.

The Ambassador further explained that the differences in Shiites and Sunmi are a way of creating division among Muslim nations and it is a move to lead some people astray.

“We believe that people involved in extremism do not belong to any school of thought. We cannot consider them as Muslims.
Islamic teachings do not allow us to behave like God when with other human beings or other schools of thought.

“Whether Al Shabaab, Boko Haram, Daesh, they are neither Sunmi nor Shia nor any school of thought of Islam. We do not consider them as Muslim groups.

“After Iran’s Islamic revolution was victorious, one of the suggestions made by Imam Khomeini was the Unity Week where Islamic schools of thought come and sit as a united Muslim nation on the birthday of Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) to negotiate together in a very peaceful manner.

“Wherever there are differences among different groups of the society, they are required to sit down and do negotiations. Based on Islamic teachings, all human beings were regarded as on the same level with other human beings and must establish peaceful relationship with each other,” he said.

Zarchi said he believes that Nigeria can be a remarkable example for different religions and ideologies in the world but it is a heavy task for the elite of the society and the media. He said the people must however ignore the differences.

“I believe it is a very good opportunity for Nigerians that different tribes and different races with different ideologies and religions are living in this country, they must take the highest advantage of this situation to learn from each other, use each other’s experiences. For me, it is a very strong quality of the Nigerian people.

“Except friendship, peace, stability, I have got no other wish to make for any nation. So, in a natural way within a nation, peace cooperation among all walks of life is a main objective to reach.

He noted that there are though minor religious groups in Iran, such as Christians, Jews, Zoroastrianians, they have cordially good relationship with each other and all of them have representation in parliament even though they are very scanty.



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