University of Islamic denominations, equal opportunity for both Shia and Sunni
Hujjat-ul-Islam Mohammad Hussein Mokhtari, head of the University of Islamic Denominations in an interview with Fars News Agency called the center as the only scientific and academic forum which is an example of proximity both in theories and practice, reported Taqrib News Agency (TNA).
He highlighted the special stance of the University of Islamic Denominations in regards to its religious status as a seminary as well as its academic level as a center of knowledge which has to be specially maintained in terms of the students and professors.
“Another part which has to be added is that it is a religious center in general; therefore, it is a center on Islam and not a particular denomination” said the scholar and added,” It is a policy of the University of Islamic Denominations to focus on the Qur’anic teachings and lifestyle of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and not teachings of one denomination.”
He said,” The classrooms also involve followers of all Islamic denominations with a professor who can indiscriminately be a Shia or a Sunni; therefore, the University of Islamic Denominations is a practical example of proximity expected by the Islamic Republic which indiscriminately admits students from different Islamic schools of thought.”
In view of Hujjat-ul-Islam Mohammad Hussein Mokhtari, the University of Islamic Denominations can be a manifest of the high objectives of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought and in this line the academic center is struggling for realizing the recommendations of the late founder of Islamic Revolution, late Imam Khomeini (RA) and the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khamenei on boosting Islamic solidarity as well as proving the coexistence of different Islamic denominations.
When asked on the results of the religious debates between Shia and Sunni students he said that in majority of the cases the students come to the same result though in some cases there is no conclusion since the final judgment is left for the audiences to make their mind.
“Commonalities of the Shia and Sunni exceed 95 per cent” said the scholar and added,” the remaining 5 per cent is to be discussed and views should be exchanged so that the final resolution is made by the audiences.”
Hujjat-ul-Islam Mokhtari was asked if it was a policy of the University of Islamic Denominations to convert Sunni students to Shia Islam which he rejected and stressed,” What we pursue in the this academic center is to reach a common discourse and an understanding of each other.”
According to the cleric the younger generation will see it for himself that the reasoning of different Islamic denominations refer to the same references and that sheds light on the fact that minor differences among Muslims are merely trivial issues.