Discord between Shiite, Sunni Muslims, colonial weapon: Rafsanjani
Regional-Iran-USA, Politics, 3/13/2007
Iran's Chairman of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said here Sunday that enemies attempted to provoke sectarian conflict between the Shiites and Sunni Muslims, "but, it is a blight weapon," a reference to colonial era.
Rafsanjani made the remarks while addressing an international conference on "Islamic Unity, Challenges and Strategies." He stressed the importance of adopting a measure by ulema to neutralize conspiracies of the enemies to foment rift between Shiites and Sunni Muslims.
Pointing to enemies' failure in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine, he said, "All of us are duty-bound not to let certain extremist individuals, whether Shiites or Sunni Muslims, to hamper integration of the great international power of Islam." He added, "Existence of differences is a natural issue in the Islamic world. We should tolerate each other and be patient." Rafsanjani said that social pluralism was among achievements of human sciences and added that the Islamic world accepts different views and sets no limitations for expression of various views.
He pointed to 1.5 billion Muslims throughout the world who possess 60 percent of energy resources and the current strategic status of Islamic nations and said, "Such great resources herald a prospect of a big power in the near future." The EC chairman said, "Enemies think that based on the US Greater Middle East Plan, Muslims cannot remain united in case of existence of democracy.
"This is while Muslims can reinforce unity along with fostering democracy." He added, "Enemies carried out practical measures. They occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, established bases in north of Iran and encouraged Israel to wage war on Lebanon, on one hand, and stirring internal conflict between Palestinian parties, on the other.
"They regarded Iran as center of new democratic movement and put the country under pressure. They do not abandon the pretext of nuclear program." Pointing to the US failure in materializing its plans, Rafsanjani said, "Today, Washington intends to achieve its goals by causing difference between the Shiites and Sunni Muslims."
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