French Alim Urges Local Muslims To Exercise Tolerance And Show Kindness

February 21, 2008 at 6:30 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

VISITING DIPLOMATS. (From left to right) Dr Abdul Wahhab Meddeb, a French Muslim Scholar and H.E. France Ambassador to the Philippines Gerard Chesnel and lawyer Abdurahman Canacan, chancellor of MSU-Gensan, as Sheikh Salih Musa, World Assembly of Muslim Youth Country Director, shares his knowledge on “tolerance in Islam” during the lecture tour of Dr Meddeb in Mindanao State University on General Santos City recently. Dr Meddeb handled a “Lecture on Tolerance in Islam” in four universities in the country spearheaded by the UP-Institute of Islamic Studies with the support of the French Embassy. And lawyer Canacan treats the French Ambassador and French Dr Meddeb with local coffee brew. (Mindanao Examiner Photo/Gandhi C. Kinjiyo)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Feb. 21, 2008) – A visiting French alim has urged local Muslims to exercise “tolerance” and be a model of “good and civilized people” in addressing discrimination.

Despite discriminations being faced, Dr Abdulwahab Meddeb urged Muslims to refrain from reacting violently, rather to, “continue showing yourselves as Muslims: good and patient persons,” he said during a visit here last week.
Islam describes the character of a Muslim” as a person who obeys what is good and avoids what is forbidden.
Many Muslims in the largely Catholic Philippines said they are being discriminated and have been tagged or branded by authorities as terrorists or rebels every time there is trouble. Others claimed job opportunities are less for Muslims.
Meddeb said Islam gained a bad image after the September 11 attack of the World Trade Center in New York.
Meddeb was tapped by the UP-IIS (University of the Philippines-Institute of Islamic Studies) as a resource person for a lecture series in four universities in the Philippines including UP-Diliman, Mindanao State University in General Santos City and the University of Southern Mindanao.
The French scholar is a Tunisian-born poet, novelist and a famous lecturer on “Islam and Tolerance” in France. He has already written 20 books and directs the “Culture of Islam” radio program in his country.
“If you read Suratul Al Maida, you will learn that we can merge and live with the Christians and the People of the Book (Jews),” Meddeb told more than 200 Muslims, mostly students, Madaris teachers, young professionals, members of the academe and Muslim elders.
“I suggest, you talk with them (non-Muslims) in a forum, dialogue or any gathering and find ways where you agree,” he said. “Having dialogues with other religions is a nice initiative that fosters harmony.”
He related how he reacted with the Danish caricature that besmirched the image of the Prophet, “I talked with non-Muslims and explained to them that Prophet Mohamad is not what the caricature depicts,” he said, “thus, we avoided war or clashes.” Meddeb also noted that some Muslims would rather talk about their groups and tribes ignoring other Muslims.
The visiting scholar was accompanied by French Ambassador to the Philippines, Gerard Chesnel who supported the lecture series.
Chesnel said he is looking forward to find ways on how their embassy can assist some Muslim students in availing scholarship opportunities in France. (Gandhi Kinjiyo)


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