Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayyeb speaks at the Bahrain Dialogue Forum in Manama. Press photo
El-Tayyeb made the remarks in a speech on Thursday at the Bahrain Dialogue Forum organised in the capital Manama under the theme “East and West for human coexistence” from 3-4 November.
“I add my voice to that of philanthropists who call for peace and an end to the Russia-Ukraine war and urge stopping bloodshed of innocent people,” El-Tayyeb said in his speech.
The two-day forum, which was hosted by King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and attended by the Vatican's Pope Francis, brought together 200 scholars and religious representatives from around the world for an inter-faith dialogue.
The Al-Azhar grand imam called for “waving the flag of peace instead of the flag of victory, and sitting on the dialogue and negotiations table.”
He also called for “rebuilding bridges of dialogue, understanding and confidence,” to restore peace around the world amid ongoing conflicts.
El-Tayyeb, who is also chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, urged religious scholars worldwide, regardless of their sect, to hold a serious dialogue to promote unity and rapprochement over division, strife and sectarian conflict.
This dialogue should include the cessation of hate speech, provocation and excommunication, and emphasise the necessity of overcoming historical and contemporary conflicts, he stressed.
El-Tayyeb, 76, is a long-time advocate for religious coexistence.
In 2019, he and Pope Francis signed the Document of Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together in Abu Dhabi with the aim of reinforcing the principle of coexistence among religions.