Egypt's Sisi calls for purging religious discourse of extremist ideas

Ahram Online , Wednesday 29 Jun 2016

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi (AFP)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi urged Arab and Muslim countries to unite in the face of terrorism and called for purging religious discourse of extremism.

"The Muslim world is going through a dangerous turning point and is facing unprecedented challenges targeting its existence and people, [and facing this] requires concerted efforts from all of us while putting all differences aside," El-Sisi said during a speech Wednesday.

El-Sisi warned against those exploiting sectarian or ethnic differences to cause division in the Muslim world.

The president made his remarks during a nationally televised address commemorating the anniversary of Laylat Al-Kadr (Night of Destiny), when Muslims believe the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Mohammed.

The president also urged scholars from Egypt's Al-Azhar, the highest seat of Sunni Muslim learning, to rethink religious discourse and "purge it of flaws" that negatively affect Islam.

El-Sisi has more than once blamed outdated "religious discourse" for holding back Egypt and called for "a religious revolution" in Islam, saying that radicalized thinking has become a source of destruction for the rest of the world.

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