The Grand Mosque of Kuwait City

There is no clash of civilizations when there is sharing of values

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We are living in a such period defined by some academics around the world as “The Clash of Civilization”. The Western versus Islam, Us versus Them, but I don’t believe this is the case. There is no clash of civilizations. There is only a clash of extremists, extremist ideologies and extremist organizations bent on violence and they exist everywhere and they don’t believe in anything but their cruelty.

There is no clash of civilizations if we share values

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The French academic Olivier Roy says we are experiencing what he calls “the Islamization of radicalization”. He adds “You could come to believe that Muslims around the world are turning into terrorists but if you look at recent attacks, perpetuated in western capitals and cities, these were conducted by troubled people looking to express their frustration and rage, searching for an ideology to justify their horrible acts”.

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There is only one way to counter the terrorism, I mean the ideology, it is time to share, to know each other, to fill the gaps between us, to embrace the universal values that reside in every human being despite the nationality, the colour, the faith.

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It is like a great magnet which attract you, greedy to know something more about Islam and the Great Mosque of Kuwait City, together with other two friends I decided to pay a visit to this magnificence.

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Inaugurated in 1986, Kuwait’s Grand Mosque is not just a mosque but a community center for Kuwait. The Grand Mosque holds a variety of activities throughout the year. The most prominent and important of wich is the night prayers in the last 10 nights of Ramadan.

The Square 72 m² main prayer hall accomodates 10000 people. It is supported by only 4 columns and has 21teak wood doors. Using all the courtyards and other facilities there is total accomdation for 50000 people.

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Its dome is 43m high and 26m in diameter, it is decorated with the 99 attributes of GOD (Allah) on Isfahan Ceramics.

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The Grand Mosque also contains various sections including a large library of Islamic Reference books, Islamic Arts, Ladies and Western Perception of Islam.

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At the entrance a tour guide was expecting us to explain every details of the Mosque and talk about Islam. The first impression is to be very welcome, you can feel a sense of peace and serenity in the great prayer hall, walking and speaking so quietly in order to respect the silence that surrounding you.

When I saw a copy of the original holy Koran, I began to discuss with our guide different issues:

MoscheaMoscheathe role of women in Islam: despite some divergences, he convened with me that, not the religion, but ancient traditions and customs ruined the role of women in the muslim society. In fact in the verse 3:196, Allah hints at the fact that man and woman complement one another, only one soul, emphasizing the equality of the status of the souls of man and woman;

– the Jihad as an internal fight between the evil and the good which reside in everyone of us:

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the word “jihad” is often translated as “holy war,” but in a purely linguistic sense, the word “jihad” means struggling or striving. In a religious sense, as described by the Quran and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad “jihad” has many meanings. It can refer to internal as well as external efforts to be a good Muslims or believer, as well as working to inform people about the faith of Islam;

Moscheathe centrality of the Golden Rule in the three main monotheistic religions:
the Holy Koran as the Christian Bible and the Hebrew Bible speaks about a universal value, it speaks about Compassion and Empathy at the centre of Universe.

At the end of the tour we sipped a tasteful tea and took some pictures all together, there is no war, no Jihad except in your soul, there is no clash of civilizations, nor will there be.
So you feel that, although, some sharp differences, good people from diverse groups tend to have some deep values in common. This is the only way to live together harmoniously.

Pasquale Florio

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