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Italian Senator lauds Al-Azhar's role in fostering interfaith dialogue

Thursday 13-07-2017 - 01:01 PM
Mohamed Arabi
During the meeting
During the meeting with Al-Azhar's Grand Imam (Courtesy: Al-Al-Azhar)
Cairo - Italy is fully aware of the role of Egypt's Al-Azhar in fighting extremist ideology and uprooting terrorism. This was a statement by Senator Nicola Latorre, Chair of the Senate Defense Committee, in a meeting with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayyeb, the highest Sunni religious authority in Egypt, according to reports from Al-Azhar Official Press Center. 

In the first official visit to Egypt after the controversial Regeni case, the Italian Parliament’s delegation headed by Latorre arrived at Cairo on Monday (June 11).

The delegation met on Tuesday morning with Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayyib, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, the leading and most influential religious hub and university of Sunni Islam. 

"Italy is fully aware of the importance of Al-Azhar and its messages," said Latorre. Recalling speech of Al-Tayyeb during the recent visit of Pope Francis to Egypt, he said: "We still vividly remember those words,” adding that the role of Al-Azhar in educating its students on values of pluralism and dialogue is very essential and important to bring about the cultural and religious symbiosis.  Latorre added that the dialogue between different religions is strategic to build a new world free of chaos and violence.

For his part, Al-Tayyeb said that Al Azhar is an educational institution that is concerned with spreading peace among all peoples of faith. The Grand Imam recalled his two meetings with Pope Francis, one in the Vatican or another in Cairo. “Al Azhar’s openness to Christianity along with all its denominations shows that this time-honored institution seeks to establish peace among peoples across the world.” 

He pointed out that Al-Azhar established the Egyptian family House, a practical example where Muslims and Christians are all equal in their national rights and duties. Al-Tayyeb affirmed that Egypt’s Parliament has recently passed a "bill that condemns hatred and violence in the name of religion". 

"Al-Azhar University is underpinned on intellectual pluralism and dialogue so as to protect its students from the radicalization and save them from the entrapment of extremist groups," concluded Al-Tayyeb. 

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