Egypt's Al-Azhar's Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayyeb voiced concerns over the spread of aggressive and hostile far-right activities against Muslims in many European countries, as he met on Sunday with German Ambassador to Cairo Cyrill Nunn.
El-Tayyeb said the world, more than ever before, is in need of values to respect pluralism and the acceptance of others, the Al-Azhar statement read.
He stressed that the voices of reason and wisdom need to rise while, on the other hand, the voices of destruction and devastation need to disappear.
The world is currently fully aware that some groups exploit religion to achieve tendentious purposes that go in line with their ideologies, El-Tayyeb added.
He affirmed Al-Azhar’s readiness for cooperation with all states and institutions to contribute to countering these groups and eliminating this perverted and misleading thought, the statement read.
El-Tayyeb mentioned Al-Azhar’s steps towards countering misleading opinions, including coordinating with major religious institutions in Europe, on top of which is the Vatican.
Al-Azhar also established an observatory to fight extremism and a program to train imams from different countries at Al-Azhar Academy for Training Imams and Preachers in order to teach them how to dismiss the thoughts of extremist groups.
Nunn hailed the significant role of Al-Azhar as a reference for Muslims and non-Muslims around the world and as a hearable and influential voice on an international level.
Muslims in Germany represent six percent of the population and they enjoy full rights in the community, said Nunn.
He added that Germany has positive examples of Muslim figures who have made great and significant changes inside the German community.
El-Tayyeb in recent years has been keen on denouncing violent acts committed under the name of religion worldwide and has been encouraging interfaith and intercultural dialogue.
In February 2019, he and Pope Francis of Vatican signed the Document of Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together in Abu Dhabi.