SAUDI ARABIA

Fiqh Academy team participates in strategic dialogue with US State Department

May 27, 2022
Dr. Koutoub Moustapha Sano
Dr. Koutoub Moustapha Sano

WASHINGTON — A delegation from the International Islamic Fiqh (Jurisprudence) Academy (IIFA), headed by its Secretary-General Dr. Koutoub Moustapha Sano, participated in a strategic dialogue organized by the US State Department between the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the US in Washington on May 23-24.

Dr. Sano highlighted important aspects of the Academy’s achievements in many areas of common interest between the OIC and the US, mainly the fight against extremist ideology and terrorism. He underscored a series of intellectual and practical measures submitted by IIFA to the OIC member states to combat extremism and terrorism.

He also underlined IIFA's efforts in spreading the culture of moderation, tolerance, and coexistence, and promoting moderation inside and outside the Islamic world, praising the good results achieved through the commitment of many member states to the decisions and recommendations of the Academy.

In his speech, Sano touched on the efforts of IIFA in promoting awareness and the importance of correcting misconceptions about many legal terminologies, such as jihad, loyalty, disavowal, governance, and others, stressing that the concepts woven around these expressions to achieve doubtfulness were and still are one of the most important reasons for the spread of extremist thought, fanaticism and terrorism, which prompted IIFA to issue many decisions and recommendations to correct these misconceptions in a scientific, systematic and objective manner.

The IIFA Secretary-General also spoke about the efforts of the Academy in explaining the legal provisions appropriate to calamities and developments, citing the new corona pandemic. The academy organized two specialized seminars that focused on several issues related to the pandemic, especially about dealing with precautionary measures, and those infected with the coronavirus, and those who succumbed to the disease. It also issued the religious point of view with regard to taking Covid-19 vaccines and spending from zakat funds to buy vaccines for the needy individuals, communities and countries.

The Academy’s Director of Family and Women's Affairs, Sarah bint Amjad Hussein, highlighted IIFA’s efforts in empowering women and combating all forms of violence and injustice against this venerable group.

The Academy, in many of its organized sessions, issued effective decisions that clearly explain the rights granted by Shariah to women, including the right to education, the right to work, the right to own property, the right to inherit, the right to choose, the right to movement, and the right to participate in the efforts of construction, progress and development for countries and societies. She added that Shariah did not distinguish between men and women in many religious domains, such as compliance with the pillars of Islam and the pillars of faith.

She explained that the origin of the assignment letter of faith is that it is directed to both genders and that men and women are addressed together, and are equal in rights and duties as stipulated in many of the Shariah texts, the Holy Qur’an and the Prophetic Sunnah.

For their part, the American side hailed the Academy’s various efforts in all fields, especially its recent measures to counter rumors about vaccines, and urging Muslims to adhere to precautionary measures aimed at preventing the spread of the virus. They also expressed their desire to establish partnerships of cooperation and understanding between some of the US State Department agencies and the Academy, in the hope of achieving more coordination and integration.

Meanwhile, Sano signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Secretary General of the Religions for Peace Foundation, Dr. Azza Karam, at the headquarters of the Foundation’s General Secretariat in New York.

The agreement aims to build a strategic partnership based on enhancing cooperation and coordination between the two parties to highlight the desired pivotal role of religions in combating all forms of extremism, fanaticism, and terrorism by coordinating efforts and organizing programs and activities aimed at enhancing the awareness of followers of religions of the importance of coexistence and tolerance on the one hand, and seeking the assistance of scholars in spreading the culture of peace, tolerance and coexistence on the other hand.

The agreement also aims at cooperation between the two parties in the joint organization of conferences and seminars, holding workshops and training, exchanging publications, and representing the two sides in the work of conferences and seminars that are held with the knowledge of each of them in the field of common interest.

According to the memorandum, the two parties agreed to form a specialized committee to determine the aspects of cooperation between them, and the ways and mechanisms of implementation according to the perception contained in the memorandum itself, and that committee has full authority to seek the assistance of whomever it deems appropriate to implement all the terms of the agreement. — SPA


May 27, 2022
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