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In defense of Al-Azhar and its Grand Imam

Tuesday 02-05-2017 - 07:28 PM

We have a number of reservations on the role that should be performed by Egypt’s Al-Azhar in the Egyptian society during this critical period of Egypt’s history. We have repeatedly published our reservations. However, what we are witnessing currently is not just reservations on the performance of a national organization that played a major role in the history of the country and the region as whole.

We are currently witnessing a suspicious and organized campaign that is coming from every direction to undermine the role performed by Al- Azhar and its grand imam. We strongly oppose such a brutal campaign against this important and historic Islamic institution. We also strongly express our support for the Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam, Sheikh Ahmed Al Tayeb. We call upon the country’s scholars and intellectuals to support this scientific school with a distinct past against the campaigns aiming to only serve the interests of  extremists.

We have to remind people of the initiatives that have been taken by Egypt’s Al-Azhar on different occasions since the January 25 Revolution, when it presented a number of documents to pave the way for reforming religious discourse, not only in Egypt but also in the Arab and Islamic world. It has drafted a number of principles and shown a clear map for the renewal process based on the principles of citizenship and respect of freedoms.

However, these initiatives have been ignored by some people, while others took an opposite direction by extending a helping hand to Salafi groups. They provided them with  opportunities to appear on media channels to talk about reconciliation and to promote their extremist ideas that violate the principle of citizenship, not to mention the insults addressed to Coptic citizens.

Such ideas have a major role in the incidents witnessed in the country recently, including what is happening currently in Minya’s village of Kom Al Lofi in face of the government.


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