Ijma (“concord”) — one of the bases of Islamic religious law,
Islam has many faces. Its regional forms are usually self-sufficient and undoubtedly of equal worth. It is obvious that only a “local Islam,” nurtured by the full range of religious traditions and preferences, inextricably bound up with the history of a particular people with its victories and tragedies, can adequately meet the spiritual needs of the faithful. Only such a version of Islam, being a part of the great Muslim civilization, can be an important force for stability in society. A battle is being waged for the hearts and minds of Muslims, and the most important weapons in this battle are word and image: only by the power of word and image can the human being be turned into a living bomb, and only by the power of the word and image can one prevent such transformations.
Russian Asiatic Society in cooperation with the Peter the great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, Russian Academy of Sciences and “Rosbalt” Information Agency have launched a new project — “Ijma‘=Concord”. The project consists of documentary shorts, based on interviews with most respected Islamic scholars, religious leaders and public men, leaving in Arab and Muslim countries as well as in the USA, Europe, Russia, China and other countries.
Series of documentaries is the most important part of the project. They will present the diversity of the Islamic world, which is now attacked by the “radical underground” first of all. Interviews of the leading Muslim authorities show full incompatibility of terror with the basic values of Islam. At the same time they will give us the possibility to see most important world problems by the eyes of Muslims. In general, the world of Islam will present its unanimous opinion — Ijma‘. Full texts of the interviews in the Russian, English and Arabic, photographic series, as well as the biographical material, will be published on the web-site of the project. The project will result in a book accompanied by a series of DVDs. We are planning to organize art, ethnographical and photo exhibitions as well as the scholarly conferences.
In 2006 the project was presented at the headquarters of UNESCO in Paris and at the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” (Rhodes). At the moment the project is carried out in cooperation with Academician Eugeniy Primakov (Russia); Academician Mikhail Piotrovsky (Russia); Prince Hassan bin Talal (Jordan), outstanding politician, philosopher and writer; H.E. Juma al-Majid (Dubai), distinguished businessman and philanthropist; Dr Ali-al-Samman (Egypt), famous politician and publicist; Dr Nihad Fahmi, former General Secretary of G 15, and General Secretary of "Dialogue among Civilizations" (Egypt).The first interview has been published on ROSBALT Information Agency web-site . Project documentaries will be presented by the TV channels “Russia” (in Russian), “Russia Today” (in English) and “Rusiya Alyaum” (in Arabic)
Dr. Prof. Efim A. Rezvan,