Wednesday 23, December 2015

Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: As Muslims around the world mark the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the Sawab Center, a joint initiative by the UAE and the United States to fight Daesh’s extremist ideology online, has announced the launch of a new campaign on its Twitter and Instagram pages.

The campaign aims to refute Daesh’s false claims of following the example and teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The Center has chosen the hashtag #MercyToTheWorlds to convey a global message of Islam’s merciful and tolerant principles. It also seeks to clarify through this hashtag that violent and radical actions by extremists bear no relation whatsoever to the real teachings of Islam and the practices of Muslims.  

The Center has pointed out that the #MercyToTheWorlds campaign comes as part of efforts to emphasize that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was a symbol of peace, love, and mercy and called for tolerance, justice, and equality between all human beings, whether Muslim or non-Muslim. The Center also seeks through its many initiatives to counteract the destructive ideologies that terrorist organizations spread online in order to deceive and recruit young people. These organizations often leverage texts and rulings from the history of Islam and the life of the Prophet (PBUH) that are falsified or used out of context to serve deviant purposes.

The Sawab Center has emphasized that it cooperates with all organizations known internationally for fighting terrorist ideologies, including Al-Azhar which is leading these efforts. The Center has commended its current collaboration with Al-Azhar given the latter’s esteemed position and profound vision in dealing with regional and global developments, as well as its vital role in spreading the true and moderate vision of Islam and correcting false interpretations, noticeable efforts in countering radicalism and terrorism, and the efforts of Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed El-Tayeb, Sheikh of Al-Azhar, in promoting the values of peace, mercy, and justice among peoples and nations.

Commenting on the issue, Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed El-Tayeb, Sheikh of Al-Azhar said: “Today we celebrate the birth of the greatest and kindest, and the noblest and most merciful Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and his brothers, the Prophets and Messengers. It is very difficult, rather impossible, to cover Prophet Muhammad’s life in one sitting or lecture. That is not enough to cover even one aspect of his greatness and humanity. And that’s because the Prophet’s life in itself represents the complete human being, one great character in all its manifestations.  

The Prophet was sent as a symbol of mercy to all mankind, his direct mission being to serve the humanity, added the Grand Imam. As evident in the Holy Quran: ‘And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds’. Islam’s message is indeed a message of love andpeace, one that prohibits the killing and shedding of blood. The violence that we see today is but an act coming from radical organizations that have no relation whatsoever to our religion or our Prophet.”

He added: “The Sawab Center’s awareness and educational campaigns play a vital role in supporting all efforts in spreading the true and moderate vision of Islam and countering radical and terrorist ideologies. Al-Azhar is committed to  spreading the values of peace, mercy and co-existence. It is important to stress that Daesh is an aggressor on this earth and is against Allah’s orders and His Messenger’s teachings. They must be fought by our rulers and leaders in order to wipe this evil group.”

The Sawab Center focuses on delivering fact-based, accurate and credible information without distortion or exaggeration. Despite the Center being established less than six months ago, it has built a credible and highly interactive platform that showcases moderate and enlightened voices. The Center’s campaigns have already made a remarkable impact on online viewers with the number of hits surpassing 420 million to date.

Since commencing its activities on 8 July, 2015, the Center has worked to amplify the voices of moderation against Daesh by using social media platforms and allowing the silent majority to express their opinions. The Center also seeks to expand its reach as part of efforts to fight radicalism and digital terrorism.