Egypt's Azhar's Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayyeb condemned on Sunday what he deemed as a "systematic campaign" against Islam that aims to involve Islamic symbols in political conflicts.
In posts on social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter – in Arabic, English and French – Tayyeb said " We will not accept our religious symbols becoming victims of election campaigns in the political arena."
He renounced the sinister attack on Prophet Muhammed saying " I say to those who justify insulting the Prophet of Islam, the real issue lies in your hypocritical ideologies and petty agendas."
"I would also like to remind you that a leader's utmost responsibilities are to maintain civil peace, as well as preserve social harmony, respect religions, avoid strife, and not fuel conflict in the name of freedom of expression," the grand imam added.
Al-Azhar is Egypt's, and the world's, biggest Sunni Muslim institution.