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Attempts to use Islam as a justification of extremism, terrorism blasphemous - President Nazarbayev

10 June 10:21

ASTANA. KAZINFORM - Attempts to use Islam to justify extremism and terrorism in any of its forms are blasphemous, believes President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The Kazakh leader made such statement at the 2nd session of the Religious Leaders' Council within the framework of the 5th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Astana on Wednesday.

"Over the past three years since previous Congress, the world has faced new, more sophisticated attempts to sow discord between the followers of different religions. First and foremost, the number of military conflicts under the guise of religion has grown dramatically. We are highly concerned by the fact that one of such conflicts in Yemen broke out near the holiest cities of Mecca and Medina. Actions of extremist groups split apart the community in Asia and Africa. The news of churches damaged as a result of the conflict in eastern Ukraine is disturbing. Secondly, the growing threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The ISIS militants destroy the Islamic cultural heritage sites in Iraq and Syria, publicly execute journalists and volunteers. Thirdly, religion and religious leaders have come under unprecedented attacks online. All religions call for patience, peace, tolerance and accord between people. And Islam is one of the most tolerant religions in the world. Attempts to use Islam to justify extremism and terrorism in any of its forms are blasphemous," President Nazarbayev told participants of the session.

The Kazakh President stressed that all nations are great as long as they cherish and preserve their unity. The people of Kazakhstan are united thanks to their wisdom.