Al-Azhar’s grand imam meets Germany’s Merkel, condemns treatment of Rohingya in Myanmar

Ahram Online , Sunday 10 Sep 2017

Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayeb met on Sunday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Photo: Al-Ahram)

The Grand Imam of Egypt’s Al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tayeb met on Sunday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and gave a speech where he condemned the atrocities against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

El-Tayeb gave his speech during Paths of Peace: Religions and Cultures in Dialogue conference in Germany, where he criticised the international community for “failing to save” the Rohingya.

El-Tayeb also stressed that the majority of Arabs and Muslims have nothing to do with terrorism.

The grand imam of Al-Azhar – which considered the world’s highest seat of Sunni Islamic learning – added that Western intervention and proxy wars have also played a major role in destabilising the region.

"The region has become a stage for arms races and regional and international conflicts," he added. 

El-Tayeb and Merkel discussed cooperation between Al-Azhar and Germany as well as the Rohingya crisis.

Myanmar’s minority Rohingya Muslim population has long been subjected to discrimination in the mostly Buddhist country, where the government denies them citizenship and regards them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, even if they have lived in the country for generations.

Over the last two weeks alone, some 270,000 mostly Rohingya civilians have fled to Bangladesh to escape the conflict in Myanmar, overwhelming refugee camps that were already bursting at the seams, a UN official told AFP.

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