Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayyeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar, received on Monday Wang Yang, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and an accompanying delegation during their visit to Cairo.
The grand imam of Al-Azhar said the Islamic world alone cannot be blamed for the spread of extremist thoughts, as there are international agendas and policies that use the extremist ideas to fuel the conflicts in the region to impose its hegemony.
Muslims are the number one victims of terrorism which some associate Islam with, El-Tayyeb added, noting that the states were responsible for maintaining peace and social security and at the same time shouldered the responsibility to allow the freedom to practise religious rites at the same time.
The grand imam stressed that the wrong education and misinterpretation of some religious texts were the source of extremist thoughts in some countries.
The only way to confront extremism was to spread the moderate Al-Azhar curriculum through sending students to study in Al-Azhar or training imams in a programme dedicated by Al-Azhar to the incoming imams to train them on pluralism and coexistence, he added.
Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference praised the grand imam's ideology and speech which align religion, citizenship, and humanity.
"I will work on clarifying the image of Islam I knew from the grand Imam," Wang Yang said, pointing out that he will be keen on sending Chinese imams to Al-Azhar to confront extremism.
Yang called on the grand imam to visit China's Islamic centres and meet with Chinese religious leaders.