Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb (Photo: Reuters)
The highest seat of Sunni Islam, Egypt’s Al-Azhar, said in a statement on Wednesday that it is “truly concerned over smear campaigns being launched against Muslims in America.”
"We warn against such hate speech, which represents a clear provocation of one and a half billion Muslims around the world, and is incompatible with all religions, international conventions, and humanitarian principles," the statement read.
Al-Azhar’s remarks come following a statement by US Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump that called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.
Trump's statement on "total and complete shutdown of Muslim immigration" to the United States came after last week's California shooting spree, which was carried out by two Muslims who the FBI said had been radicalized.
On Tuesday, Egypt's Dar El-Iftaa, the top authority that issues edicts to Muslims, said Trump's statement would generate tensions in American society, which includes 8 million Muslims.
"This hostile perception of Islam and Muslims will increase tension within American society," the statement read.
"It is unfair to punish all Muslims because of a group of extremists whose criminal actions are repudiated by Islam."
"We cannot restrict [the labeling of] extremism and terrorism to one religion or one country," the statement added.