AFRICA/EGYPT - Conference on Islam and Terrorism at Al Azhar. Imam al- Tayyeb: “takfirist” extremism perverts the Islamic religion

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) –'Takfirist' extremism which justifies with verses of the Koran violent and terrorist activity is a “perversion of the Islamic religion ”, and jihadist factions commit “barbaric crimes with the clothing of this sacred religion, assuming names such as 'Islamic State' with the intention of exporting their false Islam”. Radical condemnation and disavowal of Islamic fanaticism was voiced by Ahmed al-Tayyeb, Grand Imam of al-Azhar, in the opening speech at an international meeting organised at the Cairo University – considered the most important centre of Sunni Muslim theology – to reflect on the controversial question of relations between the Muslim world and Islamist tinted extremism.
Participants include 700 scholars and representatives of political, social and religious institutions– also leaders of eastern Christian communities - from 120 different countries. In his intervention – according to local sources consulted by Fides - Grand Imam al Tayyeb underlined that any terroristic ideology justified with references to Islam is based on distorted and manipulated understanding of the writings of the Koran. He went on to announce that Azhar plans to tackle this phenomenon, devastating also for Islam itself, from several points of view by promoting studies aimed at confuting and stemming manipulation of Koranic writings and by launching Courses of Formation to provide Imams with clear and convicting arguments to counter and reject the aberrant Jihadist theories and attempts to infiltrate into mosques.
Following the inaugural address by Tayyeb, the second person to take the floor at the Meeting was Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II, Primate of the numerically most consistent Church among those rooted in Arab countries. In his intervention, Papa Tawadros also affirmed that the violence and terrorism practiced by these Islamic factions is incompatible with the teaching of the Koran. The Coptic patriarch defined Islam as a religion of tolerance, which, as such, has no responsibility regarding wicked deeds perpetrated by Jihadists in the name of Islam.
During his recent visit to Turkey, in a speech given in Ankara at the Diyanet, (Department for Religious Affairs), Pope Francis recalled that all religious leaders are under the obligation “to denounce all violation of human dignity and human rights”, underlining above all that “violence which seeks religious justification deserves strong condemnation, because the Almighty is God of life and of peace”.
Takfirism is a sectarian movement started in 1971 by Moustafà Choukri which considers the entire Islamic society to be undermined by irreligion, regards all Muslims who fail to accept this point of view as heretics, and considers the murder of such heretics as justified. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 3/12/2014).