Since the International Islamic Unity Conference is one of the important factors in the field of Islamic unity, it has always been one of the most important cultural events in the Islamic world and has been considered and followed by all the elites and experts due to the transcendent thought of the Unified Islamic Ummah and the proximity of Islamic denominations. The 34th International Islamic Unity Conference can be considered as the most unique round of the International Islamic Unity Conference in terms of innovation in the idea and method of holding, welcoming new guests, participation of influential figures of the Islamic world, presentation of content and many other aspects, and it has been considered a turning point in the history of the activities of the World Forum for the Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought.
The 34th Conference, entitled “Islamic Cooperation in Facing Calamities and Disasters”, in the coronary conditions of this year, which did not allow travel and face-to-face meetings of selected guests of the Islamic Ummah, was designed and held more magnificently than before with the efforts of colleagues in the Forum and using the capabilities of cyberspace and the cooperation of thinkers, experts and organizations active in the international area. The most important issues that created this new effect are as follows:
۱. Providing the necessary arrangements for obtaining foreign and domestic lectures for webinars.
A total of more than 438 foreign and domestic speeches were received, excerpts of which were published in the form of regional and international regional webinars, the opening ceremony of the Unity Conference and the closing ceremony of the Unity Conference on popular virtual social networks such as Aparat and YouTube, as well as the official website of the Islamic Unity Conference.
Lectures by 277 foreign speakers at regional international webinars: thinkers and cultural, theological, academic and political elites from 48 countries in the form of 19 webinars with the following titles:
❖ Central Asia and Caucasus region (Turkey, Russia and Georgia)
❖ North American region centered on Canada
❖ European region centered on Germany
❖ West Asia region with a focus on Afghanistan - 2 webinars
❖ Sub-continental region centered on Pakistan - 2 webinars
❖ South Africa region with a focus on South Africa
❖ Sub-continental region centered on India - 2 webinars
❖ North Africa region centered on Algeria and Tunisia
❖ West Asia region (Lebanon)
❖ West Asia region (Bahrain, Iraq, Oman, Lebanon, Yemen)
❖ West Asia region (Bahrain, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Kuwait, Lebanon)
❖ West Asia region (Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen)
❖ Southeast Asia region with a focus on Malaysia - 2 webinars
❖ Latin America region centered on Colombia
The total time of lectures by foreign speakers amounted to “1535” minutes.
Lectures by 161 local speakers in domestic webinars: Shia and Sunni figures from all over the country in 12 webinars:
For the first time, the largest number of speakers were present from dear Sunni brothers and sisters in the country. Among the 161 lectures received, 124 were men and 37 were women, of whom 57 were Sunnis. The total time of the internal lectures was 3043 minutes.
۲. Holding two specialized roundtables with the presence of 6 seminary and university professors with the following titles:
❖ Specialized roundtable on “The Role of Martyr General Haj Qassem Soleimani in the Unity and Security of the Islamic World”
❖ Specialized roundtable on “Consequences of Normalization of Relations with the Zionist Regime and the Strategies to Deal with It”
۳. Holding four scientific meetings with the presence of 27 seminary and university professors on the most important current issues of the Islamic world with the following topics:
❖ Scientific Conference “The Role of Media and Cyberspace in Islamic Cooperation”
❖ Scientific Conference on “Academic Interaction and Promotion of the Legal and Advocacy Support System in the Islamic World”
❖ Scientific Conference on “Cooperation of Islamic Countries in Strengthening and Developing Transcendental Governance”
❖ Scientific Conference on “Creating the Cooperative Capacity of Islamic Communities in Managing International Crises”
۴. The title of the conference: “Islamic Cooperation in Facing Calamities and Disasters”
For the first time, a global dilemma (regardless of geography, religion, ethnicity, and nationality) entitled “Islamic Cooperation in Facing Calamities and Disasters” was raised as the main theme of the conference, based on the issue of Corona. The University of Islamic Denominations was considered as the main pillar of scientific articles in the Islamic Unity Conference and through convening continuous meetings of the faculty appointed by the conference, the conference axes for articles were prepared and arranged. In the conference process, articles were taken from the authors and after evaluations and reviewing of the received papers by the university, the selected articles are going to be published with an ISC degree. Abstracts were published in both Persian and English at the time of the conference.
Articles were compiled in seven main axes (as follows) and fifty-five sub-axes:
❖ Religious and spiritual principles and challenges in facing calamities and disasters
❖ Strategic capacities of the Islamic world in facing calamities and disasters
❖ The role of Muslim scientists and elites in facing disasters
❖ The role of the media in raising awareness, and promoting the culture of cooperation in facing adversities and disasters
❖ Threats and opportunities of cyberspace in the Corona era for Islamic societies
❖ The post-corona world and new political, social and cultural scenarios in the Islamic world
❖ Cultural, economic and political challenges of the West in facing corona virus outbreak
۵. Opening of “Radio Vahdat” (Radio Unity) with content about Islamic Unity and proximity of Islamic schools of thought at all hours of the day during the month of Rabi‘ al-Awwal on FM wave row 95/5
Due to recent events in the world, such as insulting the great prophet of Islam and republishing the insulting cartoons of Charlie Hebdo and the divisive approach that is being promoted in some media towards the Muslim Ummah, it was felt necessary to launch the radio channel called as “Radio Vahdat” as an occasional channel.
Programs of Radio Vahdat were performed with the aim of creating the unity of the Islamic Ummah in all denominations and bringing the Islamic denominations closer with any tendency, and emphasizing the support and cooperation with the Holy Prophet of Islam in creating a single roof as a “Unified Ummah”. It was scheduled to launch “Vahdat” Occasional Radio on air on the 95. 5 MHz wave until the end of the Week of Unity, but due to the audiences’ welcome, the radio’s programs continued for a month until the end of the first of Rabi‘ al-Awwal, in cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.
۶. Carrying out two unveilings from “Wiki-Vahdat” website and a book related to the fatwas of Islamic scholars about Palestine
❖ Unveiling of the comprehensive information website of the Islamic world with the approach of unity and proximity called “wikivahdat” (www. wikivahdat. com):
Wikivahdat is a digital encyclopedia in cyberspace that has been produced by the World Forum for the Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought in its new era of plans and has started its activities in 1399 in the field of culture for the unity of the Islamic Ummah, proximity of Islamic Denominations and achieving Islamic Union. The purpose of this digital encyclopedia is to explain the concepts, words, terms in this field and to introduce figures, currents, institutions, books and the like and to publish all the content produced in the above framework.
Purpose of formation: Considering that the movement towards a Unified Islamic Ummah is one of the principled goals and macro policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the great founder of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA) and the supreme leader of Iran, Grand Ayatollah Imam Khamenei (May His High Shadow Last) and considering that the mission of the World Forum for the Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought is to provide theoretical foundations for the Islamic Ummah, this encyclopedia was created with the aim of promoting and disseminating this important issue in cyberspace so that audiences with different levels of information can meet their information needs by referring to this encyclopedia; and considering the technological structure of open encyclopedia, they will, if desired, help us to increase and improve the articles and entries in it.
In the short period of WikiVahdat’s activity, about 1000 articles in Persian focusing on figures and institutions in the field of unity, Islamic currents and other related topics have been written and uploaded to Wiki Vahdat. In addition to the main entries, 800 reference entries for articles have been prepared to facilitate access to articles.
Also, the preparations for launching an Arabic and English wiki were provided and the principles and policies for writing Arabic articles were prepared. Due to the importance of the Arabic language, the writing of the article in Arabic has started widely and soon the Arabic wiki is ready to be unveiled.
❖ Unveiling of the book “Palestine in the Conscience of Islamic Scholars”
The purpose of writing this book is the reaction of the scholars of the two sects against the normalization of relations between Islamic countries and the Zionist regime. The book is published in three chapters: The first chapter contains fatwas and lectures by 30 Sunni scholars on the need for the victory of Palestine and non-cooperation with the Zionist enemy. The second chapter also refers to the fatwas and speeches of 30 Shiite scholars on the issue of Palestine. The third chapter also contains fatwas and the views and opinions of major Islamic scientific centers on the issue of Palestine. These include the fatwa of the first conference of Palestinian scholars in 1935, the voice of the Ulema of Al-Azhar in 1947 on the necessity of jihad, and the fatwa of the scholars of the International Islamic Conference in Pakistan in 1968 on the prohibition of peace with the Zionists.
۷. Extensive presence of clerics
Due to the need to spread the idea of unity of the Islamic Ummah and the proximity of Islamic denominations among Islamic scholars, the 34th conference was held with the broad participation of authorities, clerics and seminaries. For the first time, one of the supreme authorities of Taqlid delivered a speech as the opening speaker of the Conference on Islamic Unity. There are also 13 representatives of the Supreme Leader, 13 Sunni Friday Imams, 10 members of the Assembly of Leadership Experts, 63 Muftis, directors, teachers and Shiite and Sunni seminaries, 83 university professors, 224 cultural, social activists and writers, as well as prominent figures. Politicians such as parliament speakers, former prime ministers, former ministers, heads of influential religious organizations, and prominent cultural figures attended the conference.
۸. The presence of first-rate speakers at the opening ceremony was one of the special highlights of this conference, in which nineteen people gave the following speeches:
۱) Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, Eminent Religious Authority of the Islamic World
۲) H. I. Dr. Hamid Shahriari, Secretary General of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought
۳) Dr. Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, I. R. of Iran’s Parliament Speaker
۴) Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, Prominent Thinker, Scholar and Politician of the Muslim World
۵) Sheikh Rawil Aynutdin, President of Administration of Muslims of Russia
۶) Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, Preacher of the al-Aqsa Mosque
۷) Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Ghassem, Bahrain’s Shia Leader
۸) H. I. Sheikh Naeim Ghassem, Deputy Secretary General of Lebanese Hezbollah
۹) Dr. Nouri al-Maliki, Secretary General of the Islamic Dawa Party of Iraq
۱۰) H. I. Sayyid Ammar al-Hakim, Leader of the National Wisdom Movement of Iraq
۱۱) Dr. Mehmet GÖrmez, President of the Institute of Islamic Thought
۱۲) A. Sheikh Shams al-Din Sharaf al-Din, Mufti of the Yemeni State
۱۳) Mr. Bu Abdullah Qulam Allah, President of the High Islamic Council, Algeria
۱۴) Sheikh Awang Abdul Aziz Bin Juned, Grand Mufti of Brunei Dar al-Salam
۱۵) Dr. Malik Muhtashim Khan, Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind
۱۶) Dr. Qibla Ayaz, Chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology of Pakistan
۱۷) Sheikh Maher Hammoud, Secretary General of International Union of Resistance Scholars
۱۸) Sheikh Mahdi al-Sumaidaei, Sunni Mufti and President of Dar al-Ifta’ in Iraq
۱۹) Mr. Ma Zhongping, Secretary General of the China Islamic Association, PRC
۹. The closing ceremony was held in the presence of the President of the I. R. of Iran’s Judiciary Power and other Shiite and Sunnite guests and some members of the Supreme Council of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, despite the situation of corona virus outbreak in the country and in accordance with health standards, and the following 9 people gave their speech:
۱) Ayatollah Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, Head of Judiciary Power
۲) Dr. Khalil Hamdan, Member of the Board of Directors for Amal Movement
۳) Allamah Sheikh Khaled Al-Mulla, Head of the Scholars Community of Iraq
۴) Mawlawi Mohammad Es'haq Madani, Vice President of the Supreme Council of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought
۵) H. I. Seyyed Musa Musavi, Vice President of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought
۶) Mawlawi Habibullah Hisam, Head of the Islamic Brotherhood Council of Afghanistan
۷) Mawlawi Nazir Ahmad Salami, Member of the Supreme Council of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought
۸) Mamusta Mulla Qadir Qadiri, Imam of Friday Prayer at Paveh
۱۰. The final program of the Islamic Unity Week: The expressions of the Supreme Leader of I. R. Iran and its live broadcast from the conference website
Due to the situation of corona virus outbreak in the country and the impossibility of holding the ceremony in person, the closing program was set so that the end of the week of unity, i. e. the birth anniversary of the Holy Prophet of Islam (PBUH) and his son Imam Ja‘far Sadiq (AS), the Islamic Ummah, especially participants of the Conference on Islamic Unity can benefit from the guidelines of the Wise Leader of the Islamic Revolution, which was broadcasted virtually on national radio and television channels. The event was uploaded from the conference website and broadcasted live.
۱۱. Cooperation with the Coordination Council for Islamic Advertising
To hold the Islamic Unity Week ceremony with the participation of all member institutions across the country and share all the content produced in this regard during the Islamic Unity Week for public use.
This year, with the follow-ups that were done, the Coordinating Council for Islamic Advertising agreed to include the Islamic Unity Week in its current programs every year, like other days of God, and this year, it implemented good and effective programs separately in the country. With the cooperation of this council and using the capacity of its twenty-five member institutions, a considerable amount of advertising and information works have been prepared, including clips, films, stories, motion graphs and posters prepared with the theme of Islamic proximity and unity, the birthday of the Holy Prophet of Islam (PBUH) and Imam Sadiq (AS) was shared and given to these institutions, and the poster designed by this forum was introduced as a nationally selected work by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.
۱۲. Conference website; Innovation in content, technical facilities and uploading of all lectures,
Broadcasting more than 39 webinars in Persian, English and Arabic online on the website of The 34th International Islamic Unity Conference, as well as platforms:
Designing a system for registering guests, their organizations and introducing guests and creating access for international users
Designing and supporting the system for receiving and reviewing articles of The 34th International Islamic Unity Conference
❖ Website features (iuc.taqrib.ir):
The Islamic Unity Conference website, with the possibility to be displayed on a variety of devices such as desktop, tablet and mobile, is completely flexible on different platforms and has the following features:
۱. Supports three languages Persian, Arabic and English
۲. Ability to register guests, organizations, institutions and media as well as introduce guests to the conference with the possibility of mobile validation
۳. User system for submitting and reviewing conference papers along with notification via SMS
۴. Information, news, events, call for papers, introduction of webinars, introduction of conference sponsors, conference history as well as important conference dates in a timeline
۵. Live webinars on the conference website online
۶. Archive of lectures, webinars as a separate broadcast with the text of lectures and the possibility of direct video sharing on social networks
❖ Website ranking
Due to the fact that the domain iuc.taqrib.ir was newly established and had no previous activity, the history of the conference website from 21 November to 20 December 1399 (coinciding with 11 October 2020 to 9 January 2021) is evaluated and analyzed according to international standards, and was statistically analyzed. This review shows the sudden and amazing promotion of a website among the websites of similar organizations. This is mainly due to the loading of lectures and the frequent visits of many fans and audiences interested in speakers to the website.
The global ranking of this website is currently about 446 thousand in Alexa, the ranking among Iranian websites is about 34 thousand and among American websites it is ranked 88 thousand. This rank is better than the rankings of similar websites that have been operating in this field for some years and in some cases much better. For example, one of the similar websites with many years of activity has a global ranking of one million and 240 thousand.
❖ Traffic and Audience Statistics
Total number of users: 3, 941
Total number of active user sessions: 8, 118
Total number of pages visited: 35, 135
❖ Visitor statistics
According to the chart, visitors to the website of The 34th International Islamic Unity Conference is divided into two groups of new visitors with a 23% share and duplicate visitors with a 77% share. Duplicate visitors are users who have already visited the Islamic Unity Conference website once, and the high number of these visitors indicates useful content from the users’ point of view.
❖ Location of visitors:
The most visited continents were Asia, Europe, America, Africa and Oceania, respectively. The iuc.taqrib.ir website has been visited by about 87 countries. The website has been viewed in more than 330 cities around the world. The cities of Tehran, Qom, Isfahan, Shiraz, Lahore, Karachi, Beirut, Rawalpindi and Frankfurt had the most visitors.
As you can see in the picture below, the first statistics displayed from the geographical location of the visitors, the share of Iran is about 52. 1%, Pakistan 10. 4%, United States 5. 7%, Germany 3%, Indonesia 2. 2%, Lebanon 2%
The United Kingdom accounts for 2% and Malaysia, the UAE and India for about 1% of the total visitors. The share of other countries in the total number of visits is 18. 5%, including the Zionist regime and Saudi Arabia.
۱۳. Associate organizations
The 34th International Islamic Unity Conference was held at a time when, despite the way the conference was held virtually for the first time, it witnessed the cooperation of various institutions and organizations, including the Office of the Supreme Leader, the House of Supreme Religious Authorities, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamic Culture and Communication Organization, Radio and Television of Iran, Coordination Council for Islamic Advertising, University of Islamic Denominations, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, news agencies and newspapers and revolutionary institutions to hold this event as glorious as possible. All these institutions and organizations are grateful.
۱۴. Extensive information and advertising and cyberspace
Coordinating and launching Radio Vahdat programs to introduce the guests and staff of the conference, providing archives of news and photos of the news agency, media coverage of the conference events including news, interviews, notes, reports, video reports, forming the press conference and attracting reporters to cover the contents. Persian, Arabic, English and Urdu websites, translation and implementation of content in French and Urdu, coordination with radio networks for live broadcasting of the opening and closing ceremonies of the conference, regular and wide distribution of content on virtual networks, extensive media communication with news agencies and first-rate media The country to reflect the media of the conference at home and abroad, cooperation with the Union of Islamic Radio and Television, as well as the Foreign Office of the Radio and Television to broadcast and distribute the conference events as much as possible.
۱۵. Management in reducing costs and using existing internal capacities
Due to the sharp reduction of the budget this year, a redoubled effort was made to manage the conference with double work by experts and staff inside the assembly and with limited facilities in a way that maximizes productivity with minimum financial resources. While some of the previous conferences cost up to ten times as much, at the same time, most of the criticisms showed the dissatisfaction of the observers and even the participants with the type and number of guests. Thanks to the commendable efforts of colleagues and using the capacity of partner institutions, the 34th conference provided a good model for future plans by reducing costs.