Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has stressed the importance of having balanced religious discourse in confronting extremism and radical ideology.
El-Sisi has repeatedly blamed outdated religious discourse for holding Egypt back, often calling on Islamic clerics to reform their religious speech to confront extremist ideology.
“There is no doubt that enlightened religious discourse is one of the most important elements in confronting destructive extremist ideology,” El-Sisi said in a speech during a religious ceremony on Sunday.
He called for making “more effort to spread the correct understanding of religion and the homeland” to achieve a better future for Egyptians.
Egypt has been battling a deadly Islamist militancy that spiked following the 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
El-Sisi has made fighting terrorism and restoring stability a top priority. Egypt's army launched in February 2018 an extensive security campaign focused on the border Sinai region to crush militants who have been launching a series of deadly attacks mainly targeting police and army troops over the past few years.
El-Sisi said the primary goal is to “maintain the essence of religion and raise young people's awareness about the dangers of radical ideology on one hand and the magnitude of challenges and risks on the other.”
The president hailed scholars of Al-Azhar, Egypt’s top seat of Sunni Islamic learning, for their efforts in correcting religious misconceptions, addressing intellectual extremism, and spreading the correct ideals in the face of an upsurge in radicalism and extremism.