As we know there are different ethnic minorities in Pankisi Valley, mostly populated with ethnic Kist (with the different religion, culture and traditions) and Georgians. We have lived together for several centuries; I think that’s why we have lots of similarities in many fields in spite of our diversity. But sometimes diversity in religion and culture causes misunderstanding.
I am Georgian, live in Sakobiano neighboring village of Duisi. Go to Roddy Scott Foundation Language center where most my friends are ethnic Kists, from different villages and I feel proud, of being one of the members of journalist Club working for ”Pankisitimes” online newspaper. Within the project we had a seminar recently “tolerance in Islam”. It was conducted by Zurab Kavtarashvili the Imam- religious leader of Pankisi Valley, educated in International University of Islam in Jordan. As we were told Interpreting Quran is his direction.
Of course, I got interested, because I usually hear different opinion about tolerance, last period we have faced many cases recruiting local boys to Syria war, and all these global problems impacted on us too. Often global problem such as terrorism which is associated with Islam.
So, I decided to attend the lecture it has been for the first time attending this kind of seminar I think it was at hand, when there exist different attitude and opinion towards the issue. A very good lesson to open up, to find out that tolerance is a basic principle and a religious moral duty of Islam.
Zurab quoted Prophet Muhammad’s words “The best of Islam is to behave with gentleness and tolerance”.
I am a Christian but the speaker clearly described the common base of both religions. The Quran is filled with the characters from the Bible including Jesus. To think of Quran as a radically different book from the Bible is nonsense. The best what I understood is that Quran has deep root in Bible.
I don’t pay much attention to thing which religion person belongs or what language does one speak, main thing is personality and interests. I don’t feel any difference between us so made lots of Kist friends at RSF Centre, and to hear how loyal Islam is was surprise for me. because some young people interpret it differently. So, don’t force anybody to be like minded, try to be good example as a person.
As for me I think this kind of speech is very important for the young generation who is the risk group of global problem.