A Shi’ite Lebanese cleric has reached out to Jews and Christians worldwide, denouncing violence in a Facebook post monitored here in Jerusalem.
“We call on rabbis, priests, cardinals and Muslim clerics, Sunni and Shia, to underemphasize the verses, the traditions and the religious texts that call for violence, as they are more dangerous than nuclear weapons,” Sayyed Muhammad Ali Husseini, secretary general of the Arabic Islamic Council, a Sh’ite group, wrote on his Facebook page in Hebrew on Sunday.
“Various religious texts calling for the use of violence and ruthlessness to achieve goals are extremely dangerous when used by groups we have warned against in the past,” he continued in a long, detailed post. “These texts religiously sanction acts of violence and murder. Obviously, these are texts that were implemented in specific, limited situations; they cannot necessarily be applied to our time, since every situation has its own unique circumstances.”
Husseini has seemingly launched a campaign for inter-religious tolerance, as this was not the first time that he conveyed such a message. He posted a video on Facebook earlier in January, addressed to the “offspring of Isaac and Ishmael, our cousins, the children of the Prophet Abraham.”
“Not all Jews are bad, and not all Muslims are terrorists,” he states in the latest clip. “Let’s put the disagreements aside and distance ourselves from evil and hatred…. Let us meet in a positive atmosphere, let us open up to each other and spread a culture of tolerance, this is my message,” he says in broken Hebrew.
The Shi’ites in Lebanon have come under the tutelage and sponsorship of the Ayatollah regime in Iran, but Husseini rejects this path. “It is not new for the Iranian regime to explicitly proclaim its security, economic, political and even religious control of Lebanon,” he told Emirates TV channel Al-Aan in May 2014. “We have warned of this and condemned it, and shall never accept it.”