The United Arab Emirates University recently hosted Dr. Jamal Sanad Al Suwaidi, Director General of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research. A symposium was held to review and discuss his book, ‘The Mirage’, which deals with the future of political and religious groups. The discussion was moderated by Professor Rashid Al Araimi. Additionally, Dr. Abdul Hamid Ansari, Professor of Islamic studies and former Dean of the College of Law at Qatar University; Dr. Ammar Ali Hassan, a writer and researcher of political science and Dr. Mohamed Bin Huwaidin, Chair of the Political Science Department at UAEU, spoke about the book to faculty and students on the morning of Tuesday 14th April, 2015 in the Crescent Building Theatre at the university.
The symposium opened with a movie about the book which discussed what it reveals about the goals of ‘takfiri’ groups, how they were founded and what the public opinion of these groups is like. Dr. Abdul Hamid Ansari said that this volume was a comprehensive encyclopedia with a tremendous amount of information about religious and political groups in terms of their impact and the diffusion of their points of view. He suggested that the central objective of these groups is achieving power by employing religion. This is a common theme for all such groups.
Dr. Ammar Ali Hassan added that a ‘mirage’ is employed by these religious groups in order to achieve their goals and further their political interests by manipulating religion and the human mind. Additionally, Dr. Mohamed Bin Huwaidin advised students, and anyone else interested in such events, to read ‘The Mirage’ in order to understand how these groups seek to overturn the nation state and return to a time of empire. Believing that the end justifies the means and thus fuelling sectarianism in Islamic countries.
The symposium concluded with a debate between lecturers and students. Questions were taken and answered. Finally, copies of ‘The Mirage’ were distributed to the attendees.
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