Shi'ite and Sunni clerics from 80 countries have gathered in Iran's holy city of Qom discuss how to combat Islamic State (IS) militants.
The conference organizer, Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi, appealed on November 23 for consensus among Islam's two main branches -- urging all Muslim clerics to work together to discredit groups espousing extremism.
Shirazi, a prominent Shi'ite cleric who has a large following in Iran and abroad, said that "military attacks against this deviant group [IS] are necessary but insufficient."
He said that "the roots of their violent ideology must be dried up" by Muslim scholars who "preach the true, moderate face of Islam and expose the ugly face of IS ideology."
Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, also a Shi'a, said IS militants were the biggest threat to Islam.
Other clerics repeated widely circulated conspiracy theories that the United States and Israel created the IS group to sow discord in the Muslim world.