The US State Department's report on religious freedoms in Egypt lauded the attitude of His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Prof. Ahmed Al-Tayyeb, towards combating extremism, both nationally and internationally.
As to the national level, the report stated that Al-Azhar under the leadership of the Grand Imam established the Egyptian Family House in cooperation with the Orthodox Church in Egypt in 2011 in order to confront sectarian strife through the branches of the House located throughout all parts of Egypt.
Regarding the violent and terrorist groups, the report praised the establishment of Al-Azhar Observatory for Combating Extremism in Foreign Languages, noting that the Observatory operates in various languages in order to confront the extremist thought propagated via various media outlets and internet platforms. The report also emphasized the importance of the role of Al-Azhar's International Academy for Training Imams and Preachers, noting that it provides Imams from about 20 countries with educational programs.
The report also praised the Grand Imam's participation in the inauguration of the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ in Egypt, quoting his words: "The Islamic religion has obliged Muslims to protect the Islamic, Christian and Jewish places of worship."
On the international level, the report praised the efforts made by Al-Tayyeb in establishing the foundations of human brotherhood through the Document of Human Fraternity co-signed by His Eminence Grand Imam and His Holiness Pope Francis in Abu Dhabi on February 4, 2019, noting that the document condemns any practices targeting the human soul and pledges to cooperate in countering extremism and to promote peace.
Al-Azhar Observatory, on its part, affirms that the report, although it did not include many of the efforts made by Al-Azhar in the field of combating extremism over the past years, reflects a realistic and profound vision of the active role played by Al-Azhar and the Grand Imam on all levels and of the awareness-based strategy of Al-Azhar for combating extremist thought.