War Cannot Contain Violence

War Cannot  Contain ViolenceWar Cannot  Contain Violence

President Hassan Rouhani said war and military force will be of little effect against terrorism and instead its underlying causes should be addressed by promoting true Islam, which rejects any form of violence.

"Terrorism cannot be destroyed by bombs … We need to contain ideologically-motivated violence by dealing with the discourse reinforcing it," he said.

Rouhani was speaking at the 29th International Islamic Unity Conference themed "Current crises gripping the Muslim world" in Tehran on Sunday.

"The violence that manifests through terrorism is ideologically entrenched in societies due to the misunderstanding of Islamic teachings," the president was quoted as saying by IRNA.

"Regrettably, there is an incorrect interpretation of Islamic texts. Violence that forms in mind, turns into dialogue and then to discourse," he said, adding that violence will pose the biggest threat when it is the dominant discourse in a Muslim or non-Muslim country.

Rouhani said poverty and biased cultural attitudes are to blame for extremist views gaining ground worldwide.

"The reason why groups such as Daesh [an Arabic acronym for the so-called Islamic State terrorist group] are successfully recruiting is because of the prevalence of material and cultural poverty," he said.

***Economic Cooperation Key

The president said the long-sought goal of establishing unity in the Muslim world has eluded Muslim states due to a lack of cooperation to address common economic woes.

"We have been talking about unity in the Muslim world for years. How could such a unity be possible when economic collaboration is lacking within the Muslim world?" he asked.

"Our economies are dependent on those of the non-Muslim world, so are our culture and universities."

Rouhani said negotiations, which have proved effective in settling such issues as the long-running and highly controversial dispute over Tehran's nuclear program, could be used to resolve conflicts among Muslim countries.

About two years of negotiations between Iran and major powers led to a nuclear deal in July 14 that provides for sanctions relief in return for temporary constraints on Tehran's nuclear work.

"If we have managed to craft the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [the official name of the accord] with six world powers, why not use such a model to resolve other issues among Muslims? That is, gathering to talk around the negotiating table. Terrorist groups will not benefit anyone or any country," Rouhani added.