(Translation of the Statement issued by His Eminence’s office in Najaf) 

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

On Wednesday, December 7, 2022, His Eminence Grand Ayatollah Sayyid al-Sistani received Mr. Miguel Ángel Moratinos, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General, who is responsible for drafting the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations’ Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites, following attacks in various parts of the world in recent years.

His Eminence listened to Mr. Moratinos’ explanation of the plan, the principles on which it is based, and the related procedures to be subsequently implemented. 

During the meeting, His Eminence stressed the importance of concerted efforts in promoting a culture of peaceful coexistence, rejecting violence and hatred, and establishing values of harmony that are based on genuine concern for rights and mutual respect among adherents of different religions and ways of thinking.

His Eminence pointed out that the tragedies suffered by many people of different ethnic and social groups in many parts of the world have been the result of intellectual and religious persecution, the suppression of basic freedoms, and the absence of social justice. This has played a role in the emergence of certain extremist movements that use blind violence against defenseless civilians and attack religious centers and heritage sites of those who differ from them in thought or belief.

His Eminence emphasized the need to address the root cause of these phenomena, which are otherwise universally rejected and condemned, and to work diligently toward achieving some measure of justice and tranquility in various societies, befitting human dignity as God Almighty intended. This will contribute to mitigation of the circumstances that are conducive to the spread of extremist ideologies.

His Eminence expressed his appreciation for the efforts of the United Nations in this regard, wishing Mr. Moratinos success in carrying out his mission, and conveyed his greetings to Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

12 Jumada al-Ula, 1444 A.H


The Office of Sayyid al-Sistani, Najaf

For the original statement in Arabic, click here: https://www.sistani.org/arabic/statement/26646/ 

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