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In a first, Pope Francis to receive grand imam of Al-Azhar

The historic meeting between the two religious leaders comes after several years of tensions between the two institutions

Ahram Online , Sunday 22 May 2016
El-Tayeb -- Francis
File Photo Egypt's Grand Imam Mohamed El-Tayeb left, Rome's Pope Francis Right (Photo: Ahram Online)
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After years of suspended talks, Pope Francis will receive at the Vatican on Monday Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb, the grand imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar, the highest seat of Sunni Islamic learning.

The historic visit between the two religious leaders, which is considered unprecedented, comes after serious tensions between the two institutions during the time of Francis' predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.

The now-retired Benedict made a September 2006 speech in which he was perceived to have linked Islam to violence, sparking deadly protests in several countries and retaliatory attacks on Christians.

Since Pope Francis was elected in 2013, relations have steadily improved.

El-Tayeb will have an audience with the religious leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

"This audience is being prepared and has been scheduled for Monday," he said. "It will be a first."

A statement by Al-Azhar read that El-Tayeb's meeting with Francis will focus on coordination of efforts between Al-Azhar and the Vatican on spreading the culture of dialogue, coexistence and peace between peoples and societies.

A panel discussion headed by Al-Azhar’s Deputy Imam Abbas Shuman will follow the meeting.

Clerics and researchers from the two institutions are expected to meet to discuss joint working committees between Al-Azhar and the Vatican.

The last visit between the two institutions took place in March 2014 when a representative of the Al-Azhar Mosque, Mahmoud Azab, took part in an inter-faith conference at the Vatican aimed at promoting cooperation on combating modern slavery and human trafficking.

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THE EGYPTIAN
22-05-2016 09:43pm
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Egypt...
THE BROTHER-HOODIES OF THE "EL-BANANA CLUBHOUSE" ARE AS USUAL OUT OF THEIR DIRT-HOLES SCREAMING, IN FULL SWING .... AND SINGING THEIR RETARDED 1928 SONGS : "FOLLOW US TO HEAVEN" CAUSE WE ARE THE LIGHT AND THE TRUTH...Oh YA....WHO ARE YOU KIDDING...YOU BUNCH OF TASTELESS LOLLIPOPS...SISI KNOWS HOW TO DEAL WITH YOU...
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Joe
23-05-2016 02:04pm
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Beautiful
That comment is the funniest and most accurate thing I have read all day on the internet. Thank You The Egyptian
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Al
22-05-2016 08:46pm
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Denounced Wahhabism
If the Azhar Imam wants to establish credibility with the world; Christians, Muslims, and Jews; and elevate himself as the moderate voice of Sunnis, he should denounce all form of Islamist extremism including Wahhabi, Salafi, and Brotherhood. Only then, representing Egypt, he would be seen as a genuine article, not one that is controlled by Saudi!
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Al
23-05-2016 05:24pm
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Iman, terrorists take their marching orders
It’s true, the Brotherhood criminals who kill civilians are terrorists, similar to Al-Qaeda, Isis, and the other low-lives. What is considered a taboo in our part of the world is where these terrorists get their perverted ideology; for sure NOT from secular values or even moderate Islamic values of our Asian Muslim cousins!
Iman
23-05-2016 08:53am
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Salafis and wahabis are NOT the problem
Muslim Brotherhood is outlawed in "Salafi/Wahhabi" Saudi Arabia, as well as Bahain, and UAE, and Muslim Brotherhood constantly criticize and fail to listen and obey and respect the Saudi Islamic scholars. The so-called "Muslim Brotherhood" are evil fraudsters, hell-bent on undermining the authority of the true Islamic scholars and legitimate Islamic governments. MB criminals are enemies of true Mus
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Roomi
22-05-2016 08:18pm
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who accept Al azhar is a loyal of sunnis?
Al azhar imam already sold his faith by pounds he is disqualify for sunni leadership . he is sarvent of EU AND USA ONLY
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medo
22-05-2016 08:59pm
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Roomi
Learn to speak and write English correctly, you Brotherhood muppet! No one wants to hear what you have to say!
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