By NY Staff
The Yemeni Board of Scholars has issued a demand that religious scholars be allowed to participate in the National Dialogue Conference, which is set to commence on 18 March. Sheikh Abdulmajeed Al-Zindani stated at a press conference that Yemeni religious scholars had been surprised to find that they weren’t going to be included in the National Dialogue.
“Although the number of Jews doesn’t exceed 300, they were granted seven seats in the National Dialogue,” said Al-Zindani.
The board stated that Yemenis have no choice but to hold discussions with each other in order to avoid conflicts and divisions.
“The dialogue must have the spirit of brotherhood and all participants should keenly look out for the interests of Yemen and Yemenis,” read a statement from the Yemeni Board of Scholars.
According to the board, Islamic regulations should be the reference for responding to or solving any conflicts or disagreements. In the statement, the board said it was closely observing current events in Yemen and matters connected to the National Dialogue Conference in particular.
The board stated that the National Dialogue Technical Committee hadn’t considered their demands to make Islamic Sharia law the reference of all matters to be discussed in the dialogue.
Al-Zindani specified a number of points which he considered prerequisites for the holding of a successful National Dialogue, starting with a commitment to Islam and reference to Islamic Sharia law whenever conflicts appear.
The controversial sheikh also demanded the inclusion of scientists, sheikhs, police officers, businessmen and university teachers in the dialogue before stating that he would never accepts amendments to the constitution that weren’t line with Islamic law.
“We’re hoping that regional and international communities with interests in Yemeni affairs will help Yemen overcome current conflicts between the political elites,” he said.
The scholars’ statement concluded with their comment that all Yemenis have the right to enjoy safe lives. U.S. drone strikes were cited as constituting violations of Islamic law and Yemeni sovereignty.