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Raqqa seeks to repair what IS ruined

The Religious Affairs Foundation in Raqqa held its first Islamic forum as part of efforts to correct the religious concepts that the Islamic State misinterpreted and practiced, in an attempt to bridge the gap that IS created among the Syrian communities.

RAQQA, Syria — Since the city of Raqqa was freed from the Islamic State (IS) in October 2017, the Religious Affairs Foundation in Raqqa held its first Islamic forum in the city. The conference — titled, "The eternal message of Islam: concepts and challenges" — attracted 140 representatives of religious institutions from the various northern and eastern parts of Syria, members of the Raqqa Civil Council, Raqqa tribal elders, representatives of the Syrian Democratic Forces and officials at the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (Rojava).

On the first day of the event, on Feb. 1, Sheikh Anas al-Hamad, a member of the Religious Affairs Foundation, said that the forum’s goal is to rectify the religious path of Islam that IS in Raqqa misinterpreted, to counter IS extremist ideas that mushroomed among some of the youth segments that were influenced by IS ideology, to turn the mosques into places to disseminate peace and charity, and grant the rights that IS denied to women and advance their status.

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