Hojat al-Islam Sayed Mofid Hosseini Kouhsari, head of the Center for Communication and International Affairs of Seminaries, met with Ayatollah Reza Ramazani, Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly in the Assembly building in Qom.
In this meeting, on the necessity of dialogue between the seminary and different religions, Ayatollah Ramazani said, “In the discussion of religions and denominations, the seminary should train forces and prepare educational texts to acquaint the clergy with the skills, principles and foundations of dialogue in this field, and these texts should be part of the general courses of the seminary.”
Dialogue skills and approximation-oriented perspectives should be taught in the seminaries
“A number of students should be trained to propagate in the international arena, and in addition to general courses, skills and perspectives such as dialogue skills and approximation-oriented perspectives must be taught,” he added.
“In the field of international propagation, familiarity with the language, literature and culture of societies is very important. Because each Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant has their own language and literature. In the matter of dialogue, we must know exactly the mental system of the audience, and in the case of the absence of such familiarity, we may be condemned in debates,” added the professor of higher levels of the seminary of Qom.
“The preacher must know what is obvious or theoretical to the audience. At a meeting in Berlin for Muslim audiences, I was discussing Isfahan’s theological schools. In this meeting, I explained infallibility, but they did not understand its meaning. There I realized that the issues that are obvious to us may be theoretical to others. Therefore, for topics that are theoretical, we must use special literature,” he emphasized.
From the point of view of Ayatollah Ramazani, anthropology, human and animal rights, the environment, human relations and peaceful life are some of the practical issues in the international arena that can be discussed from the perspective of Islam.
The world cannot be managed with a limited and narrow-minded view
“The world cannot be managed with a limited and narrow-minded view. We must first create the worldview in ourselves, and this goal cannot be achieved with Fiqh. If we want the world to hear us, we must attend meetings of different religions and sects and talk to them,” he emphasized.
Referring to the need for the missionaries to get acquainted with the culture of the target country, the Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly added, “Dialogue creates interaction, synergy and even change. Religious leaders can be used for religious purposes. But unfortunately, we seek to impose our views. For example, raising the issue of the Trinity in conversation with the Pope is not a dialogue. This problem must be solved, and, in this case, the accumulation of capacities will be created.”
“By claiming that the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly pursues the affairs of the Shiites and the Shiite thought in the world, it should be able to convey the view and message of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) about religions to the world. Therefore, we should not raise issues narrow-mindedly. On the other hand, it is necessary to raise the level of dialogue from the preachers to the level of mujtahids and sources of emulation,” he added.
Cultural and religious activities for Iranians abroad
In another part of his speech, on the methods of cultural and religious activities for Iranians abroad, the professor of high levels of the seminary of Qom said, “For religious activities for Iranians abroad, we must take seriously the strengthening of schools abroad. The current government has a positive view on this issue, but most embassies have not been supportive of overseas schools. As a result, many of these schools have closed over time.”
“The Supreme Leader emphasizes that (the children of) Iranians attending embassies and consultations must attend Iranian schools. This is the order of a Supreme Leader. The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the general managers of this ministry must solve this problem in cooperation with the Ministry of Education,” he added.
Necessity of strengthening and changing the Persian textbooks in schools abroad
Regarding the Necessity of strengthening and changing the Persian language textbooks in schools abroad, Ayatollah Ramazani stated, “The Persian textbooks that is taught in schools abroad should be changed and purposeful. Also, the indirect effect of religious teachings through Persian language teaching is very important.”
“By establishing cultural clubs, cultural services can be provided to Iranians abroad, and clubs that are cultural complexes and promote Iranian culture should be supported. Especially in cities where large populations of Iranians live,” he continued.
“Forming unions abroad is another way to strengthen Iranian community,” the Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly added, “These groups should be invited to Iran from time to time and cultural programs should be presented to them in Iran. The religious program must be followed with a cultural perspective.”
In the end, while emphasizing on identifying and dispatching religious scientific elites to provide religious education to Iranians abroad, he added, “It is important to identify the elites, and for this purpose, help can be obtained from various institutions.”
It should be mentioned that at the beginning of this meeting, Hojat al-Islam Sayed Mofid Hosseini Kouhsari presented a short report on the activities of the Center for Communication and International Affairs of the Seminaries to the Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly.