The Grand Imam:
* We are determined to combat the extremist ideology … and are willing to establish a cultural center in Paris to introduce the authentic faith
* There must be a body responsible for administering Mosques in France…and we are ready to train the Imams at the expense of Al-Azhar
President of the French Senate:
* East-West dialogue is indispensable … the Grand Imam's rhetoric sets the basis for a fruitful dialogue
* We have many problems regarding the Imams and we hope that Al-Azhar would share us reaching solutions…
His Eminence, Prof Ahmed Al-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Head of the Muslim Council of Elders stressed, Thursday, that Al-Azhar has considerably determined to combat the extremist ideology all over the world, expressing Al-Azhar's willingness to establish a center of Islamic culture to be run by Al-Azhar in Paris in order to introduce the authentic faith and protect the Muslim youth from being polarized by the extremist groups.
During his meeting with the President of the Senate of France, Gérard Larcher, the Grand Imam said that Al-Azhar is willing to participate in training the French Imams in Cairo at the expense of Al-Azhar in accordance with moderate Islamic ideology taught at Al-Azhar.
Al-Tayyeb further said that, thanks to teaching Islam through a moderate educational approach, no single terrorist has ever graduated from Al-Azhar, affirming that Islam is innocent of those who commit violence in the name of religion.
The Grand Imam pointed out that one problem facing French Muslims is that some Imams come from other countries with different ideas or agendas which contradict the moderation of Islam. Therefore, it becomes necessary to establish a body responsible of administering mosques and Imams in France and to control and organize the Da’wah discourse.
On his part, Larcher welcomed the Grand Imam as the highest Muslim authority in the world. He also expressed appreciation and respect for Al-Azhar Al-Sharif.
Larcher lauded the speech delivered the Grand Imam in Paris to all European peoples and Muslims all over the world in which he stressed the importance of dialogue and integration of the French Muslims in their community and called for fostering values of tolerance and peaceful coexistence. He also lauded the Protocol on Cooperation between Al-Azhar University and the Catholic University, which represents a part of the history of France.
Larcher stated that there are some problems regarding the French Imams, hoping that Al-Azhar could help find solutions through the promotion of Moderate thought and combating terrorism and extremism.