Syrian poet: We can change religious interpretation, must fight extremism

Religions are not changeable matters but human interpretations of them are, said a prominent Arab poet in a seminar at the Cairo International Book Fair.
“I do not think there is a possibility to renew religion, for any renewal of religion is a change of faith, but we can change our interpretation,” said one of Syria’s most famous living poets, Ahmed Ali Saeed, known for his penname, Adonis.
“If we are to take steps towards modernization, we should consider the establishment of a secular Arab union that has the mission of revising our religious and historical traditions,” he said.
Adonis wondered whether the Arab region had a plan to counter religious extremism. “What could those regimes offer while they stand on the same shore against what they call extremism? They are themselves contradictory and have no strategy.”
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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