The International Islamic Unity Conference organized by the Islamic Center of England, saw multiple Shia and Sunni scholars tuning in from around the world to emphasize the significance of unity among the different Islamic sects in the face of growing hate and fear directed at Muslims whipped up by right-wing political leaders in the western world.
This year’s event couldn’t have come at a more opportune time and its message couldn’t have been clearer. It follows days of angry protests across the Muslim world against the republication by French magazine Charlie Hebdo of blasphemous cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad and French president Emmanuel Macron’s support for the satirical magazine in the name of freedom of speech.
But how united is the Muslim World decades after Islamic Unity week was first declared?
One thing the participants reiterated in unison was the rejection of Takfirism, in which one Muslim declared another Muslim to be an apostate. An example of that, Daesh and their terrorist offshoots. The speakers also discussed the complicity of the mainstream Western media in helping Takfiri terrorists spread their message of hatred, and recruit members.
In a world where the forces of evil inside and outside the Muslim world are fanning the flames of sectarianism, division and disharmony, events like this are a hopeful reminder that unity among members of the Muslim Umma is attainable.