His Eminence Al-Azhar Grand Imam Prof Dr Ahmed Al-Tayyeb met today morning with a delegation of the EU representatives; the delegation, which included 27 ambassadors, was presided over by Mr. James Moran, head of the EU delegation to Egypt.
In this regard, his Eminence Al-Azhar Grand Imam states, "The world today witnesses new and organized terrorism; terrorism that spreads and extends in a blink of an eye; terrorism that is funded with money and weapons and that commits atrocities in the name of religion."His Eminence Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh stressed the falsity of all the news that the terrorist armed groups were borne from the womb of Islam and that the teachings of Islam had given rise to "ISIS" and the other terrorist armed movements and organizations. It is also in the same regard that his Eminence stressed the falsity that Islam shoulders the responsibility of brutal terrorism, and expressed his sorrow for the rapid spread of this bad rumor and reputation, which was welcomed by many and which played, still playing, extremely bad role in fuelling the clash of civilizations between East and West. He continued, "That is why we went to Florence and London; we actually went there to present the genuine image of Islam, its tolerant teachings and its co-existence with others; we went there to place emphasis on the fact that Islam is a religion of mercy and peace; a religion which denounces violence and terrorism."
Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh also highlights the necessity of being aware of the motives that caused some of the European youths to join the terrorist "ISIS" group, adding, "In this context, we should never forget that Europe had opened the door to those extremist youths as it gave them room after their native countries had refused to receive them; it did so under the claim of freedom." His Eminence added that Al-Azhar had from the very beginning directed attention to the danger of such so-called Islamist groups that direct their weapons to others.
Al-Azhar Grand Imam also pointed out that Al-Azhar is now developing its curricula in such a way that makes them suitable for the current being and immunes the students of Al-Azhar from falling prey to the deviation of thought. He also mentioned that Al-Azhar is about to inaugurate an international satellite channel which will be run by Al-Azhar and which will be concerned with disseminating the true image of Islam. The Grand Imam also added that Al-Azhar had launched an electronic observer in different foreign languages in order to face the ideologies of ISIS and resist them properly, and that Al-Azhar holds international conferences for the sake of maintaining peace among all nations. In this context, Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh also emphasized that Al-Azhar has a very well-prepared program for the requalification of imams and preachers to enable them to disclose the terrorist movements that superficially adhere to Islam. Al-Tayyeb also shed light on Egypt's Family House led by Al-Azhar in collaboration with the Coptic Church and the other churches that aims at eliminating the sectarian tension in Egypt. Furthermore, Al-Tayyeb told the EU delegation that Al-Azhar is planning to delegate 15 groups of Peace Envoys to Europe.
Ambassador James Moran, head of the EU delegation to Egypt, for his part, stated that the public opinion in Europe appreciates the role of Al-Azhar in sustaining world peace and stability. Moran also said that EU appreciates Al-Azhar role in maintaining the values of tolerance, justice and mercy not only in Egypt but in the whole world as well, emphasizing that EU countries are keen on establishing close connections and ties with Al-Azhar Al-Sharif as it represents the beacon of moderate thought, and that EU is keen on knowing the opinions of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif on the latest developments on the international level and the efforts exerted by Al-Azhar in countering the radical ideologies and international terrorism.
Ambassadors of the EU praised Al-Azhar Grand Imam's successful visit to Florence and London stressing that the EU countries are afraid of terrorism and that is why they had come to Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, the stronghold of middle course and the fortress of Islam.