I was never a critic of the Grozny conference and I never cared to comment on it because it’s just one of the dozens of government seminars held every year. It’s also the least important because it is sponsored by Chechnya’s Kremlin-backed president who selected participants from a group of “Muslim scholars.”
I think if you want to fight extremism, you should not include it in the dialogue process and you must not be biased toward any religious group.
After reading Ahmad Adnan’s article in the London-based Al-Arab newspaper, I became interested in engaging in the discussion as he transformed it into a pure political controversy. The best that was written on the topic was by Dr Radwan al-Sayyid in Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.
Truth be told, no one was going to hear about the conference except for the people of Chechnya who watch the government-owned television station. However, people across the world heard about it due to the outcry of those excluded from Salafist and Brotherhood groups. Those who oppose the conference are the same as those being objected to as they also hold conferences without inviting people they disagree with.
I disagree with Adnan’s statement that the point of reference for the world’s Sunnis is Al-Azhar. There are two reasons behind it, one historical and another that’s related to political theology.
In principle, traditional Salafism – such as the brand practiced in Saudi Arabia - leaves politics to politiciansAbdulrahman al-Rashed