President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi met Al-Azhar grand imam Ahmed El-Tayyeb in the presidential palace in Cairo, 12 November 2019 (Photo courtesy of Al-Azhar)
Egypt’s Al-Azhar is set to hold an international conference on reforming religious thought in January which President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi will attend, a statement by the religious institution said on Tuesday.
The grand imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayyeb, thanked El-Sisi for his support for the conference, dubbed “Al-Azhar’s International Forum to Renew Islamic Thoughts and Studies.”
Al-Azhar, the country’s leading Sunni institution, has already held a number of workshops including representatives from various institutions, adding that it would continue talks with various factions in the society on challenges to revamping religious discourse.
El-Tayyeb said the forum, which will see the participation of Islamic scholars, will help achieve the institution’s message in demonstrating the tolerance of Islam and renouncing extremism.
El-Sisi has repeatedly stressed the importance of having balanced religious discourse to confront extremism and radical ideology, blaming outdated religious discourse for holding Egypt back, and often calling on Islamic clerics to reform their religious speech to confront extremist ideology.