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IPO Montenegro held scientific conference "EXTREMISM, TERRORISM AND RELIGION"

Terrorists are not believers, but criminals and should be treated that way, and the foundation of religion is love for all, tolerance for discomfort and disagreement, not exalted by any means, according to the scientific conference Extremism, Terrorism and Religion organised by the International Police Organisation of Montenegro (IPO).

Montenegrin Deputy Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic said all religions call for peace and that this is the fundamental benchmark of every religion.

"Terrorists are not believers. Terrorists are criminals. The media makes them believers. The media is pushing them into national specifics. The media links them to certain groupings, states. Terrorists are criminals and that's how they should be treated. Real believers aren't criminals. The real believers are the ones who insist on connecting people. The real believers are those who have a degree of tolerance much higher than other individuals whose faith, perhaps, is not close," Abazovic clarified at the PR Centre.

He noted that there are many more things that bring citizens together than those that separate them, "it's just a problem that we always like to encourage these differences".

He added that civil rights are both religious and the context of a civil state is such that it should be accepted differently from itself.

"I don't think the problem of terrorism and extremism should be ignored in any way. I don't see that being expressed in Montenegro, but there are threats. They've been identified. We have to send messages of peace, to broadcast messages of peace, to live messages of peace," Abazovic said.

Interior Minister Sergei Sekulovic believes that the original thought that religions themselves need to be restored to public debate.

"This idea needs to be heard more clearly, louder, more openly. Maybe 150, 200 years, religion is openly squeezed out of the public scene. But I maintain that there is no room for her to return to the stage, but to return in pure form," Sekulovic said.

Mup State Secretary Rade Milosevic clarified that in order to take concrete measures and actions in the suppression of extremism and terrorism, it is necessary for the government to take certain steps, and the first is for the National Security Council to form a Bureau for Operational Co-ordination of Security Services, and then the Bureau to form a National Task Force.

"This is a body that deals more concretely with this problem. What our priorities are is to strengthen capacities and international co-operation. One of the very important segments we see is raising awareness of this problem and I can't say that not much has been done in the past period. Two of them are princes. The first is preventive to act, and the second, if we get into a situation, and to act operationally," Milosevic said.

IPO President Ivan Pekic said that when it comes to deradicalisation of terrorists or the return of fighters from foreign battlefields, there are certain deficiencies, which is that when terrorists return from the battlefield, the state must create a deradicalisation plan, which implies that if someone returns to normal life, the state must get behind it, find a job, finance it in a short time.

"Deficiencies are everywhere and in every job, but we are definitely someone who extends a hand to this government, the ministry and all the people who have recognised the importance of the International Police Organisation," Pekic said

Protojeray stavrofor father Gojko Perovic said that extreme groups that have taken some thoughts out of context with religious teachings should not be idly different.

"I am an advocate of a secular society and I would be especially cautious when it comes to the introduction of religion, or religion in all institutions, but definitely if we are going to recognise what extreme abuses of religion are and what is basic original learning, I think all three monotest religions in Montenegro agree that we need to introduce some kind of religious education into schools. If I say that Montenegro is one of the five countries that does not have any form of religious education, then I call for European standards, not the middle century," Perovic noted.

He said that it is necessary to show himself and others over and over again that the foundation of religious science is love for all, tolerance for discomfort and disagreements, not exclusiveness at all.

Bar Archdiocese General Vicar Simo Ljuljic said extremism, terrorism and religion are three words to define, and stressed that it is impossible to reconcile the first two with the third.

"Religions have nothing to do with extremism, or any radicalism. Since there is a man, people have used religion to express through it the bad that exists in them, to do what animals do not do, to kill their brothers and sisters. Religions teach you to look after your brother more than you take care of yourself. We need to work to make society understand that being different, what we express in our own ways, really improves the quality of the whole society. It doesn't make us any less brothers, friends, the same in front of God. Because in front of him we are the same - his beloved children," Ljuljic concluded.

The main imam of the IS Committee, Bar Muidin Milaimi, noted that Islam opposes and condemns terrorism in all forms, because only the word Islam is obedience and peace.

"Islam categorically rejects and condemns all forms of terrorism. It provides no protection or justification for an act of violence. Religion is a man's connection to God sublime and a man's connection to man. Faith grows in trust, and faith can be trusted. Extremism and radicalism are things of utter distrust. Extremism or radicalism is a phenomenon that occurs first in a man's head, and then an excuse or justification is sought," Milaimi said.

As for the Islamic community in Montenegro, it is said to be stable and hubs of extreme ideas cannot be found in the official, official confession of faith.

Asked by reporters what his opinion was about the possibility of introducing religious education into schools, Abazovic said he thinks it is not a priority now and that a thorough reform of the educational system is needed.

IPO News Room

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