Grand Iman Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt's Al-Azhar, the highest seat of Sunni Islam, said it strongly condemns the "callous, terrorist" attack on a hotel in Mali's capital that killed more than 20 people.
Militant gunmen shouting Islamic slogans attacked the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako Friday, before Malian special forces stormed the building and freed 170 hostages after a nine-hour siege.
The Islamic body said in a statement Saturday that such "wretched deeds" has nothing to do with Islam, calling for "unity in the face of terrorist organisations."
Separately Saturday, during a gathering of top Islamic scholars Al-Azhar, Grand Iman Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb condemned the Maili assault and last week's deadly attacks in Paris that killed at least 130 people.
"Terrorism has no religion or identity. It's a grave injustice and a blatant bias to attribute what's happening now, of bombing and destruction crimes, to Islam," the senior official told the meeting at Cairo's Al-Azhar headquarters.
"Terrorism often evolves from social, economic and even political ideologies," he added.
Al-Tayeb urged the Arab and Muslim world to combat terrorism through education, media and a "religious discourse that mirrors the reality of Islam and Sharia."