New Delhi: Grand Mufti of Egypt Shawki Allam has said that instilling the concepts of true Sufism was the first step in the effort to defeat terrorist ideology that “operates under the guise of Islam”.

In his address at the ongoing World Sufi Forum, he said Islamic Sufism and its values encourage tolerance and social relations and establish rapport and good communication between the people.

“They act as a shield against the rigidity of extremists and their propensity to isolate themselves from other segments of the society. Equally important, they foster new awareness in youth that will protect them from gravitating toward extremism,” he said.

The grand mufti said true Sufism has great potential in the struggle against terrorism and extremism.

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“It can defend the true teachings of Islam and its image, as well as defend homelands, which are the substance for their citizens’ hopes and the protectors of their security and future. Sufism is moreover capable of acting as a guardian of societal peace and coexistence due to its prevalence across the globe.”

He said it is worthwhile to invest the wide proliferation of Sufism and the great number of followers it has attracted in the battle against terrorism and radicalism.

“Instilling the concepts of true Sufism is indeed the first step in the effort to defeat terrorist ideology that operates under the guise of Islam,” he said

He said that through history and specially during times of crises, Sufism served as the most prominent religious, political and social exponent of Islam, not only in the domain of proselytisation but also in the jihad against imperialism.

He said there was no denying that Sufism, both as a concept and practice, was of paramount importance to Muslims on both the individual and communal levels and plays a valuable role in building the Muslim character, consolidating the Islamic identity, and addressing contemporary crises.

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