AFRICA/EGYPT - The "Declaration of Al Azhar" relaunches the "principle of citizenship" also for the Islamic world

Thursday, 2 March 2017 dialogue   islam   oriental churches

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - After two days of speeches and debates, hosted by the Conference of "freedom, citizenship, diversity and integration", organized in Cairo by the Sunni University of Al Azhar and the Council of Muslim scholars (body based in Abu Dhabi) - the more than 600 delegates (politicians, academics, Christian and Muslim religious leaders) participants from 50 Countries, signed the "Declaration of mutual Muslim-Christian co-existence" which condemns the use of violence in the name of religion and the principle of citizenship indicates the criterion to be applied to ensure the peaceful and fruitful coexistence between people of different faiths and religious communities. Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyib, Grand Imam of Al Azhar explained the content and provided the key to interpreting the "Declaration", who in an articulated speech recalled the need to apply the principles of citizenship, equality and the rule of law to counter discrimination and ill-treatment suffered by minorities. The Grand Imam rejected the social and legal practices that constitute "double standards" by discriminating against citizens on the basis of whether they belong to Islam. Al Tayyib also reiterated the incompatibility between true Islam and the acts of persecution against non-Muslim believers, noting, however, that the defense of freedom of citizens is the task reserved to nation States and no entity, religious or otherwise, should interfere with the legitimate national governments on this ground. Yesterday, Wednesday 1 March, Amnesty International had set its sights on the Egyptian civil authorities, blaming them of having "failed" in the necessary defense and protection of Christians Copts in North Sinai, who in recent weeks have become victims of a series of murders and targeted violence (see Fides 23, 24 and 27/02/2017).
The Grand Imam, in his final speech, denounced again the propaganda that aims to impose the false idea of a fatal link between Islam and terrorism, warning that the insistence on such a misleading stereotype opens the way for the criminalization of all religions, goal pursued by "ultramodern" sectors that peddle the cancellation of all religious affiliations as a necessary measure to ensure the stability of the so-called "advanced" societies. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 02/03/2017)