A file photo of Al-Azhar headquarters in Cairo (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt's Al-Azhar, the world’s highest seat of Sunni Islamic learning, said in a statement on Saturday that it “condemns in the strongest terms” the “cowardly terrorist” attack targeting a church by the Garden of Gethsemane “in occupied Jerusalem by a Zionist terrorist.”
On Friday, a man poured a flammable liquid inside the Church of All Nations then set it alight prior to being arrested by the guard of the church.
According to Reuters, the police said that the preliminary investigation and the suspect’s details suggest that the incident was not a hate crime.
“Al-Azhar affirms that this abhorrent act is based on an extremist terrorist ideology based on hatred of the other and the violation of his sanctities, blood and honour,” the statement said, adding that this ideology represents a threat to international peace and security and is no less dangerous than ISIS and its sisters, and it must be confronted and prevented from spreading.
This, Al-Azhar says, requires the international community to assume its responsibilities, to seriously and sincerely fight terrorism, condemn terrorist acts and classify them according to a straightforward standard that is not side-tracked by the religion of the perpetrator or the victim.
Al-Azhar “regrets the passing of such news unnoticed” by the international community, its media and its agencies, stressing that this demonstrates “an embodiment of the policy of double standards,” which is an unjust policy that propagates terrorism, sparks corruption and destruction.