Saturday, 16 December 2017 | News today: 0

Ramadani: Paris killers are servants of the devil

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Islamic theologian Nusret Ramadani strongly condemns the monstrous crime in Paris and considers the criminals that take innocent lives as servants of the devil. The theologian from Skopje, who completed his education in Saudi Arabia, said that those who kill in the name of Islam are, actually, just hiding behind religion. Ramadani is fully convinced that the spirituality of the real lessons about Islam greatly contributes to enhancing the trust between the ethnic groups in Macedonia.

How do you, as an Islamic theologian, see the motives for the Paris attacks and the killing “in the name of God”?

RAMADANI: The tragic event and the monstrous crime that occurred in Paris, has no religion or nation. I strongly condemn this terrible act and this act of terrorism against civilian people. These criminals who take innocent lives and who want to take away the religious convictions and beliefs, peace and all that is good in this life, let them know that they serve the devil.

Why young believers from Macedonia join the jihad and go to Syria and Iraq?

RAMADANI: Every young person who went to foreign battlefields is not going in the right direction and they are very wrong. If we pay little attention to the greatest Islamic centers of science and the world’s greatest academics and muftis, including the Arab world, particularly in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey, we can conclude that they are united and they had different committees that examined the war in Syria and Iraq and unanimously specied that people should not go to those battlefields because criminal groups, murderers of the elderly, disabled, women and children, who hide behind Islam, are operating there and their main objective is to destroy the image of Islam and everyone to be afraid of meeting a Muslim.

Are religious facilities used as recruiting centers for new jihadists?

RAMADANI: Not at all, what every believer knows is that the religious facilities in the country operate and are controlled by the board of the very facility, so by the content they are used for the society’s education and the believers who pray five times a day. In accordance with the program activities of the mosques, there are different religious lectures, but their aim is to promote good and to fight against evil, for instance the fact that some of the young people are addicted to drugs is worrying, and there lectures about many other negative phenomena, so there is no place for evil and abuse of religious temples in our country.

nusret ramadani

A few months ago, there were quarrels among the leaders of the Islamic Religious Community. The headquarters of the IRC was attacked, the Skopje mufti was dismissed … How would you comment on these developments?

RAMADANI: Yes, this big house occupies a big place in my heart. I think that it should always be respected and elevated on all state and social organs, to be treated accordingly because we are talking about a great part of believers in our country. The recent developments in IRC, indeed, were a terror and a horror movie, the whole society was worried, but it seems they were well orchestrated months before it happened. Nevertheless, the culmination was some people’s  behavior towards this institution using force, leaping over closed doors, breaking windows in places where they have worked for years. Reis Rexhepi in the past was respected as the “great father”, while now they direct a bunch of most serious allegations to the address of Reis Sulejman Rexhepi. There are others that in the recent past wished Sulejman Rexhepi to end like Saddam Hussein and now they are fully submissive and obedient and very happy with how the IRC operates. I think this is not right and common sense does not justify this. Whatever may be the attempt made to this sacred institution, wishing to damage and degrade it in any way or form, and by anyone, it is a wrongdoing and a crime. Let us not forget the great values ​​that this institution has for centuries, let us not to forget the sweat of the Muslims in this place, the teachings of the religion teach us to behave well and fairly, away from falsehood, away from injustice and away from bad things. We wish to see IRC even more advanced, with more prepared staff, to be a good example not only in Macedonia, but also in the entire region.

To what extend is politics involved in the IRC?

RAMADANI: The doors of the Islamic Religious Community should be open to any state institution, any political structure that acts in our country, regardless of their affiliation, to communicate transparently for the benefit of the citizens, believers and society. But politics should never influence and dictate the IRC as an institution. Whenever politics interfered in the IRC, something went wrong, there were internal mutual clashes and various incidents. But vice versa as well, the leaders of the IRC should not deal with political columns so radically, in the morning to support the views of one party, and at night to eat baklava with another party. Let them face with their potential weaknesses in their echelon, and how to run the IRC from then on.

How can religion positively influence on increasing the trust between the Macedonians and the Albanians?

RAMADANI: Yes, I am fully convinced that religion and the spirituality of the Islamic lessons and rules give a great contribution and are chief promoter of increasing the trust between the ethnic groups and other nationalities in the country. And this is achieved only through sincerity of the soul, respect for others, through dialogue and mutual tolerance that elevates the castle of freedoms and human rights and beliefs. Allah in the holy book Quran says: “This Quran is a lesson for the whole world.” In fact, people should be distinguished as good and bad, liars and fair, instigators of incidents and others that create peace and coexistence. The East, for example, is in inquisition because it has confused Islam with local tradition, and also here in Macedonia is often similarly mixed up. Each of us should make a contribution with the personal character and the social interest to educate, primarily, the young generations, in the spirit of mutual communication. Normally, there have always been individuals who use verbal and ugly words in the communication on the social networks, continuously seeking to cut the trust between the ethnic communities, and no one can guarantee for these, mainly, uncultured people that, unfortunately, do exist. Breivik, who killed many innocent people in Norway in 2011, in the name of Christianity, and the other one in Spain, who attacked a large metro and killed innocent people in the name of Islam, have nothing to do with Christianity and Islam. All religions condemn such bloody events, a man who has a brain in the head is not thinking about such terrorist acts.

A few months ago you were a direct witness of the tragic event in Mecca that killed 700 and more pilgrims from different countries. What is your opinion on the causes and the background of the entire event?

RAMADANI: I was privileged to be in this company, close to the company of the media and the elite of scientists and journalists. And more precisely, the assessments of all that happened in Mecca, i.e. in Mina, were made by the Ministry of Hajj, where I was. I can speak as a witness because I have seen with my own eyes some of the tragic events that occurred on this annual Hajj. Despite the successful organization, preparations and efforts offered by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, certain circles, many portals and various organizations worldwide were trying to distort and to give another direction to the tragedy in Mina, to give the wrong direction, trying to accuse the government of Saudi Arabia, but they are very wrong, Saudi Arabia is not to blame. Of all the analyzes that we have heard and seen, I can conclude that the attempt and the interest of some countries involved in the conflict in Syria was to destabilize Saudi Arabia through the Hajj, or to, completely, destroy the Hajj which for the first time was organized by the new King Salman bin Abdulaziz. Pilgrims from Iran and other countries that mostly belong to the Shia branch, who do not respect the measures envisaged by the organizers and by the authorities of Saudi Arabia, share a large part of the blame. To inform the public that the Shia pilgrims that mainly come from Iran, during the Hajj, are, historically known, as the instigators of incidents that damage the image of the Hajj, and the pilgrims. In 1985 at the airport of Jeddah, 51 kg of dynamite type C4 was found in the bags of pilgrims from Iran. In 1986, there was a similar to this year’s stampede initiated and well organized by pilgrims from Iran, in which 300 pilgrims were killed. In 1990 gas broke out in the so-called Al-Muassim tunnel, and many other isolated cases where attempts to propagate Shia Islam, distributing Shia literature, books, leaflets, records calling for Shia Islam, during the Hajj, which is legally forbidden. Moreover, this year also they carried Shia slogans during Hajj rituals that are absolutely unacceptable in the holy place. However, the Government of Saudi Arabia established a special commission to understand in detail the reasons for these bad events.

What are the impressions of the pilgrims from Macedonia about the Hajj in terms of accommodation and performing rituals and what is Saudi Arabia offering?

RAMADANI: It should be emphasized that we as citizens of the Republic of Macedonia are lucky that there are quotas for Hajj visas that are sufficient for our needs and for this we should be grateful to the authorities of Saudi Arabia. As regards our pilgrims, sadly, but I should say that most of them have a great need to understand the Hajj culture, especially the elderly and the adults that have to be educated and explained the Hajj rules and how this religious ritual works, and how to respect the rules laid down by the organizers and the authorities of Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately, many of the pilgrims risk their lives without any need, thinking they have to act like that, and also some misunderstandings that occur, such as when some of our pilgrims return home and people ask them how it was? Some pilgrims make mistakes from the beginning and say “Arabs are vulgar” “they behaved badly” “Saudis spark riots”, etc. using offensive words for the Saudis. Since I have completed higher education in Saudi Arabia where I spent part of my student life, where I had the opportunity to hang out with Saudi friends , I want to explain this deviation and this false information. I can say with certainty that the Saudis are the least to participate in the pilgrimage, given that the number of pilgrims reaches 3 million, and different cultures collide there, numerous nationalities, people who perhaps saw what an airplane looks like for the first time, walked on an urban trail for the first time, and precisely these people, poorly informed of the modern world, who mainly come from rural areas, do unusual things that give a negative character to the Hajj. It is worth and I should mention one important segment, the visit of the Cabinet of the Macedonian Government led by incumbent Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski to Saudi Arabia in December 2014, he left a good impression, so many public figures also from the public sector that I had opportunity to meet, appreciated it as a historical visit and give a positive evaluation.

You were part of a conference held in the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Could you briefly tell us about the content of the conference?

RAMADANI: Yes, I was specially invited to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the auspices of the Ministry of Hajj, in the season when pilgrims perform Hajj. I was part of a conference on “Hajj culture – the purpose of Sharia and human need,” whose opening and inauguration of the 40th session made the Hajj Minister, Dr. Bandar Hajar, and many other Saudi Arabia high officials. Part of this world conference included top scientists from around the world.

By: Nenad Mircevski