Al-Azhar has always supported the Armenian cause: El-Tayyeb to PM Pashinyan

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Wednesday 6 Mar 2024

Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tayyeb affirmed to Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan the depth of the relations between Al-Azhar and Armenia, highlighting the leading Sunni Islamic institution's longstanding support to the Armenian cause.

Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb   Nikol Pashinyan
Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb with the Prime Minister of Armenian Nikol Pashinyan during their meeting on Wednesday 6 March, 2024. Photo courtesy of Al-Azhar.


During a meeting in Cairo on Wednesday, El-Tayyeb said the fatwa issued by Sheikh Salim Al-Bishri in 1909 condemning the massacres against Armenians reflected Al-Azhar's approach of unequivocal rejection of aggression against Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

He emphasized that religion cannot be a cause of wars and conflicts but rather the sole path for humanity to overcome crises and stop wars.

Furthermore, El-Tayyeb invited Armenian youth delegations interested in learning about Islam through the "Introduction to Islam" program designed by eminent scholars of Al-Azhar.

This program aims to introduce Islam to non-Muslims and familiarize them with the religious texts of the Quran, explained El-Tayyeb.

The Quran considers the Torah and the Gospel as guidance texts and promotes respect and acceptance of others, he added.

He also welcomed Armenian imams to receive training at the Al-Azhar International Academy to enhance their skills in addressing issues of extremism and radicalism and promote mutual coexistence.

He pointed out that the Egyptian Family House initiative, launched by Al-Azhar in cooperation with Egyptian churches over ten years ago, strengthened the values of religious tolerance and contributed to the battle against bigotry and hatred based on a misunderstanding of religion.

During the meeting, the Grand Imam called for intensifying efforts to halt the Zionist aggression on Gaza and find a comprehensive solution to deliver humanitarian relief aid to the besieged strip.

For his part, PM Pashinyan expressed his appreciation for the significant efforts made by the Grand Imam to promote values of coexistence, brotherhood, and global peace.

He also affirmed that the Armenian people have strong historical ties with Islamic nations.

Refugees from the Armenian Genocide sought refuge in Islamic countries and found security and peace without facing any religious persecution, he noted.

PM Pashinyan proposed organizing an exhibition at Al-Azhar showcasing the most prominent historical Islamic manuscripts owned by Armenia, numbering in the hundreds.

In a two-day visit that started on Tuesday, PM Pashiyan met with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II.

Pashinyan also plans to visit the Federations of Egyptian Industry and Chambers of Commerce to meet with Egyptian businessmen.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Egypt and Armenia. 

Armenians have lived in Egypt since the eighth century AD.

Their numbers increased between the 12th and the 16th centuries AD.

In the early 20th century, a larger Armenian community grew in Egypt after the country welcomed thousands of refugees escaping from the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire 1915-1923.

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