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Egypt's top Muslim cleric blames terrorism on 'wrong teachings'

Head of Al-Azhar says terrorism threatens unity, calls for education reform

Ahram Online , Monday 23 Feb 2015
Ahmed El-Tayyeb
Egypt's head of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayyeb (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's top Islamic cleric has blamed the spread of extremist militant groups created in the name of Islam on the misinterpretation of religious teachings.

"The most striking reason, that I see, is the historical accumulation of extremist tendencies… that grew out of corrupt interpretations of some texts in the Holy Quran and Sunnah [Prophet Mohamed's teachings]," he said.

El-Tayeb said Sunday in an anti-terrorism conference in Mecca that a "control" is needed on the "chaos of [religious] rulings against other Muslims as infidels." Otherwise, there would be "no hope" for the Islamic ummah to retrieve its unity.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called on Monday for a pan-Arab force to fight against "terrorism," most notably the Islamic State (IS) group that has taken over parts of Iraq and Syria and gained loyalists in other Arab countries including Egypt.

Egypt conducted air strikes in parts of Libya last week after IS revealed an online video showing the beheading of 20 kidnapped Egyptian Copts in Libya, which it claimed responsibility for.

Education reform   

Meanwhile, the Grand Imam called for introducing a special education curriculum for correcting "false and ambiguous concepts."

He also called for a conference of Muslim scholars where, he said, they would invest in the common values that unite them, while leaving each country's people to follow the teachings they agree upon. This is, he said, to achieve "social stability."

"I hope people follow the teachings they grew with that the masses have accepted and which Islam takes in," he said, emphasising the importance of a tolerant discourse rather than using differences to create conflicts.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab is forming a committee to study possible amendments to national security laws in order to remove websites linked to "terrorism," cabinet spokesperson Hossam Kawish has told Ahram Online last week.

Egypt has been battling a jihadist militant insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula for almost a decade, but the conflict has intensified over the past year. Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis militant group, which has claimed several deadly attacks – mainly on police and army personnel – pledged allegiance to IS last November.
 

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Hasan Dohan
24-02-2015 04:24pm
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One addition
In addition to the repressive murderous regimes, which really push young people to extremism, the official religious establishment portrays a bad image of Islam. It just functions as a rubber stamp in the hands of the evil dictator...It okays mass murder, it okays mass oppression, it vilifies and demonizes forces advocating human rights and civil liberties....and it never ever criticizes the huge excesses of the regime.
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Nour Abdul Masih, Shubra, Cairo
24-02-2015 03:50pm
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hats off to George Abaza
He said it the way it is. Terrorist regime mouthpieces like Allen should be ashamed for backing the criminal terrorist junta. The MB may not be perfect, but they are still the number-1 political force in Egypt and the Arab world. At least they don't lie, they don't cheat and they don't deceive. And yes, I would give them vote again.
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George Abaza
24-02-2015 09:36am
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Problem is not Islam, it is tyyrannical regimes
Look how Sissi is destroying everything in Egypt. He has destroyed the justice system, he has corrupted the media, he has spread a culture of lies and hatred. He has helped spread violence and terror everywhere. He has got Egypt involved in neighborinbg countries. Egyptians are treated with contempt everywhere they go. The thug is simply destroying the country. I am sorry Egypt has such a terrorist leader: uneducated, ignorant, unwise, who lies to his people as often as he breathes the oxygen of life.
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Allen
24-02-2015 01:02am
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You don't happen to teach " wrong teachings "
One elects to teach hate, death, destruction, under the false pretense it's in the name of God. This is a criminal deed El Zawaheri to this day practices under the protection of the terrorist friendly Qatar regime.
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Allen
24-02-2015 01:02am
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You don't happen to teach " wrong teachings "
One elects to teach hate, death, destruction, under the false pretense it's in the name of God. This is a criminal deed El Zawaheri to this day practices under the protection of the terrorist friendly Qatar regime.
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Allen
24-02-2015 01:01am
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You don't happen to teach " wrong teachings "
One elects to teach hate, death, destruction, under the false pretense it's in the name of God. This is a criminal deed El Zawaheri to this day practices under the protection of the terrorist friendly Qatar regime.
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Aladdin, Egypt
23-02-2015 05:59pm
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Great THift of Islam
We need serious research and publications about how Islam was interpreted after the death of beloved Prophet. Lust for power and wealth spilled rivers of blood. We are witnessing the Great Theft of Islam by the Mofsideen fi El-ard. It is Jihad el-Nafst for every Muslim to expose those Mofsideens. thanks Imam Tayeb.
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Aladdin, Egypt
23-02-2015 02:30pm
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Thanks
I believe in Allah (SWT) and the Prophet teaching of Islamic values ONLY. I do not accept any other man-made rules or religions. Allah AKber, Tahya Misr.
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Sam Enslow
23-02-2015 12:52pm
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Individual not State choice
I always thought in Islam religion was between the individual and God with no government or clerics acting as intermediaries. State and religious institutions must give up the idea of controlling everything. Religious thought control leads not to piety but to hypocrisy, people putting on false faces for public approval. Eliminate all Muslims without bringing Hope and acceptance to all, and the terrorists will just fly a different flag. Look at the street gangs of Central America. Religion would do well to show how we are all God's creation and God gave us gifts, each different, that we should develop including our minds, bodies, and hearts. There is more to morality than sex.I also thought it was haram to tell someone how they live their lives is not pleasing to God. God judges us by His plan. It is not our job.
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