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Al-Azhar unveils 10-point initiative to end Egypt's political crisis
Endorsed by parties and groups from across Egypt's political spectrum, ten-point Al-Azhar initiative aims to end country's ongoing political crisis
Zeinab El Gundy , Thursday 31 Jan 2013
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Al Azhar
Sheikh Ahmed El Tayeb with Hamdeen Sabbahi (Photo: Popular Current)

Egypt's Al-Azhar on Thursday declared its sponsorship of an initiative aimed at ending Egypt's political crisis and stopping the violence currently taking place in the country.  

The initiative was announced following a meeting held at Al-Azhar's Cairo headquarters led by Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayib and attended by representatives of various political parties and Egypt's three churches (Coptic-Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical) – including Coptic Pope Tawadros II – along with Salafist preachers.

The initiative is based on four main points: the sacred character of Egyptian blood; the recognition of diversity as the basis of Egyptian society; calls for media and religious leaders to denounce violence and call for peaceful protests; and the recognition of dialogue as the only way to resolve outstanding differences.

The initiative includes the following points:

1- The right to life is guaranteed by all religions and laws; there is no good to any a nation or society that fails to recognise the sacred character of human life.

2- Distinctions must be drawn between political action and violent criminal action, with an emphasis on the sanctity of public and private property and blood.

3- Emphasis must be put on the duty of the state and its security apparatuses to protect the citizenry, their constitutional rights and freedoms, and public and private property without breaching human rights and laws.

4- The denunciation – along with the legal and religious criminalisation – of violence in all of its forms.

5- The condemnation of incitement to violence.

6- The condemnation of all calls for violence, defamation of the other, spreading rumours against public figures and entities, and recognition of these actions as ethical crimes.

7- A commitment to peaceful means of engaging in politics and raising Egypt's next generation into a culture of peaceful political discourse.

8- A commitment to serious dialogue between different political groups, especially in times of crisis, aimed at reinforcing a culture of respect for diversity.

9- The protection of Egyptian society from sectarian and racist calls, illegal militant groups and illegal foreign intervention.

10- The protection of the Egyptian state is the responsibility of all parties: the government, opposition, the people, the youth, the elderly, political parties, groups and movements.

Among the political figures that attended the meeting were: Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the Constitution Party; Mahmoud Ezzat of the Muslim Brotherhood; Saad El-Katatni, Freedom and Justice Party founder; Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh, head of the Strong Egypt party; Younes Makhioun, head of the Salafist Nour Party; Amr Hamzawy, head of the Free Egypt Party; Ahmed Said, head of the Free Egyptians party; Hamdeen Sabbahi, head of the Egyptian Popular Current; Amr Moussa, head of the Conference Party; El-Sayed El-Badawi, head of the liberal Wafd Party; Abul-Ela Madi, head of the Wasat Party; and Ayman Nour, head of the Ghad Al-Thawra Party.

Representatives of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya and its Reconstruction and Development Party also attended, along with prominent Salafist preacher Mohamed Hassaan.

The meeting, sponsored by Al-Azhar, was an initiative planned by several 'revolutionary' figures, including Wael Ghoneim, Mostafa El-Naggar, Islam Lotfy, Abdel Rahman Youssef and April 6 youth movement founder Ahmed Maher.

"The aim of this meeting is not political, but rather to launch an initiative to stop the violence. It's a moral initiative aimed at stopping the bloodshed. That is why Egyptian youth called on Al-Azhar to hold this meeting and gather together all Egypt's political forces and parties," Ghoneim, a prominent activist, declared at a press conference held after the meeting.

It was not Al-Azhar's first political initiative. Last year, the famous religious institute presented a similar initiative aimed at resolving the crisis over the drafting of Egypt's new constitution.





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Lia Rodrigues
02-02-2013 02:02pm
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Peace!
Good initiative Egyptian! Let there be peace between nations then and end the bloodshed. God bless you!
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Ahmed M Ibrahim
01-02-2013 12:58pm
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Al Azhar's role
AlAzhar has taken a very bold and constructive step to solve the crisis which is facing Egypt now. It deserves all appreciation.
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Joe
01-02-2013 11:05am
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Great
Great initiative from Al Azhar BUT the same has to be said in EVERY mosque EVERY Friday! Egyptians were terrified and lost their minds when they heard the rhetoric and madness spoken by the Salafists who in parliament came out with the most disgusting and anti Islamic talk. It's time to get to the root of the problem and tackle these mad preachers who are distorting Islam and distorting the minds of the illiterates and easily influenced Egyptians. Tourism is Egypts life blood and no sane person will visit Egypt when they see it turning into another Afghanistan with all the women in black tents and mad beards running wild in the streets. If they want that then they should move to Saudi Arabia and leave Egypt as it was before the Wahabi cancer infiltrated the country and now it seems the world. Al Azhar needs to seriously condemn Wahabism in all it's forms so that Egypt will survive this crisis. Left to spread Wahabism will destroy Islam. There is no doubt about it. Just look at Saudi, A
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Ray Gibbs
01-02-2013 06:00am
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10 Point Initiative
Yes, stop the violence. Dignity of Democracy, Human Life.
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Expat
01-02-2013 03:22am
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Long live Egypt!
You are a great Nation and this news makes me very happy. You are strong UNITED! All parties can disagree but all can find a common ground to build on - in the end, you are ALL Egyptians! Be proud of it! All the best to you ya MISR!!!
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Brian
31-01-2013 09:42pm
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The voice of reason
Every great journey begins with the first step... now let's see who is man enough and human enough to join this initiative.. well done to Al Azhar
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expat
31-01-2013 08:55pm
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balloons
non of this talk will change a thing the basic problems,which toppled good old mubharak,are still the same: 1. a culture of in shallah plus hatred for the success of another person 2. culture of excuses unlimited,why a job is not done 3. culture of blaiming foreign entities to do whats bad for egypt instead of seeing the lack of own success to build the country up 4.culture of ego,not cooperation 5. negelctence of priorities...for example,tourism is one of the few sources of forreign currencies in this overpoppulated country,but its success doesnt interest anybody 6.pseudo-socialistic society,where even the most useless is getting a job and bread sponsored by the work of the few in jobs you need more? all the attendees,if they would be honest,would see,that with words this chaos is not mastered,but to take action like mubharak is out of fashion
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expat
01-02-2013 06:29pm
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so what
well,its funny to name this initiative brave,really. the al azhar is now the more or less ruling entity in egypt and enjoys it. Never voted for,never questioned and for sure the few copts only got the cat chair....its only another step into a religious ruled third or better forth world future
Democracia
31-01-2013 09:14pm
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I agree - but...
I agree with you 100 percent with your points 1 - 6, expat! But even as a person suspicious of each and every instutionalized religion I say "Chapeau!" for the effort and I wish success for this initiative of Al Azhar and all involved parties! Let the good sense win!
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Um-Aly
31-01-2013 07:01pm
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good Start
Thanks. What we need is true people representative debate and shura council to argue, discuss and order the gov. to what to do. Now anyone can give orders and marsh the country to death. I heard Hamas criminals were smuggled into Egypt to shoot and kill. Who gave that order?
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Ed Bennet
31-01-2013 06:49pm
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A positive step
By the looks of it, this is a very positive turn of events. Politicians are expected to disagree with each others' policies, but having open and honest dialogue with your opponents is the way to reach a resolution. My congratulations both to the Grand Imam and the various parties and individuals who made this happen. Egypt is a great country, with a great future ahead of it if real progress can be achieved through such dialogue.
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