In his meeting with the Kazakhstani President Nazarbayev, The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar says:
- “Al-Azhar Al-Sharif will remain a support for any initiative that aims at bringing Muslims close to each other and unite all humans regardless of their faiths.”
- Political leadership in the Muslim world has a responsibility in uniting our Muslim world and avoiding discords
- The Mosque of Sultan al-Ẓahir Baibars in Egypt symbolizes a historical heritage that combines Kazakhstan and Egypt.
The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and President of the Muslim Council of Elders, Prof. Dr. Ahmed El-Tayeb met yesterday H.E. the Kazakhstani President Nazarbayev in the Ak Orda Presidential Palace, in Astana. In the beginning, the Kazakhstani president welcomed the Grand Imam, stressing the deep relation between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Arab Republic of Egypt. On his part, the Grand Imam expressed his pleasure with the kind invitation of the President, thanking the President and the Kazakhstani people for the warm reception.
The Kazakhstani President praised the Conference of “Leaders of the World and Traditional Religions”, planned to start on Wednesday, confirming that it aims at activating dialogue between religions and civilizations. He also spoke about the crises and discords that currently afflict the Muslim world, and elaborated on the Kazakhstan stance in support of dialogue, considering that the Kazakhstani capital Astana is a place where all religious leaders of different faiths gather to reach conformity and eliminate discords which created wars that became a danger threating the Muslim World.
The Kazakhstani President showed that Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, given its international position and human message, plays an imminent role regarding the Muslims’ concerns. “We have nothing to combat extremism except Al-Azhar and its approach,” the President added. The Grand Imam affirmed that Al-Azhar includes among its students a number of Kazakhstani students, confirming that Al-Azhar is ready to duplicate the scholarships presented to the Kazakhstani people
His Excellency the Grand Imam affirmed that Islam grants followers of all religions the right of worship and practicing religious rituals. Afterwards, his Excellency referred to the historical status of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the hearts of Arab and Muslims, citing Muslim philosopher Al-Farabi and Sultan al-Ẓahir Baibars. On his part, the President of Kazakhstan pointed out that the Mosque of Sultan al-Ẓahir Baibars in Egypt symbolizes a historical heritage that combines Kazakhstan and Egypt. In addition, He expressed his deep appreciation for the efforts of Al-Azhar and the Grand Imam in unifying the Muslim word, avoiding discord and clarifying the real image of Islam and Muslims. At the end of the meeting, the Grand Imam stressed the importance of the political leaders’ role in the Islamic world and their responsibility towards unifying nations and avoiding discord confirming that disagreement and dispute would lead to failure. He also added that Al-Azhar Al-Sharif will remain a support for every initiative and call that bring Muslims together regardless of their religions. His Excellency expressed the great appreciation exerted by the Republic of Kazakhstan in establishing firmly the principle of dialogue.
During his visit to Kazakhstan, Prof. Ahmed El-Tayeb is accompanied by a high-profile delegation including Prof. Mohammad al-Maharsawi, the president of Al-Azhar University; Egyptian ambassador in Kazakhstan, Haytham Salah; Dr. Sultan al Rumaithi, the secretary general of The Muslim Council of Elders. On Kazakhstan part, the meeting was attended by Mr. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Chairman of the Senate of Kazakhstan; Mr Nurlan Onganov, the assistant for the President for foreign affairs; Mr. Darkhan Kaletayev, the minister of social development attended the meeting.