SHAFAQNA – The scientific conference on ‘Islam, Islamophobia & Extremism’ took place in Berlin with the efforts of Iran’s cultural center and in collaboration with the Islamic Studies Foundation.
The event was attended by scholars and analysts from Germany, Austria and Iran as well as a number of German students and intellectuals. The conference that was hosted in Hotel Steglitz International in Berlin centered around various topics including ‘social and political causes of extremism and its effects’, ‘media and their one-sided policies’, ‘Islamophobia and fantasies of western societies’, and ‘Islam and a correct understanding of it’.
Mehdi Imanipour, honorary president of the Islamic Studies Foundation in Berlin maintained that there was a particular rise in anti-Islamic sentiments among liberal elites after the recent terrorist attack in Paris.
According to him, the main problem was that most non-Muslims had little to no information on Islam or Muslim societies; that is why Iran’s Leader’s recent letter to European and North American youth in which he had asked them to refer directly to the original religious texts as a response to anti-Islam propaganda bears so much significance.
Imanipour stressed those who attempt to tarnish the image of Islam with their irrational and inhuman interpretations of the sacred text comprise a very small minority of the whole Muslim population and in many cases, these groups operate under some countries’ intelligence agencies.
In January, thousands of people together with German politicians and religious leaders including Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck attended a rally against Islamophobia. Merkel condemned movements against Islam in the country, calling on Germans to avoid marginalization of Muslims or other minorities.
The vigil also condemned anti-Islam movements by the extremist group PEGIDA, which claims to be countering what it calls the Islamization of the West.
PEGIDA is a German acronym for a phrase that means the “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West.”