Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi urged the cultivation of a distinguished generation of enlightened Muslim imams and preachers as he met on Thursday with Religious Endowments Minister Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa.
Sisi urged that this generation of imams should strengthen the state’s strategy by promoting rational moderate thought and the principles of true religion and to correct misconceptions, a statement by the Presidency read.
The implementation of this strategy comes through the cultivation of this enlightened generation of imams and preachers who can formulate a disciplined religious public opinion, El-Sisi explained.
This should be done in a way that adopts the jurisprudence of reality without failing to preserve the principles of the true Islamic law (Sharia), the president noted.
During the meeting, the endowments minister briefed El-Sisi on the ministry’s efforts to intensify communication with moderate religious institutions worldwide to contribute to spreading moderate thought, and achieving global peace.
Gomaa said the ministry’s efforts to communicate with these institutions also seek to consolidating the foundations of existence based on mutual respect among peoples and nations and to establish the concept of the national state and the respect of citizenship rights.
El-Sisi urged enhancing the efforts aiming to support the financial conditions of imams and ordered intensifying the high-level scientific and cultural programs they receive.
This includes the training programs for imams in the International Awkaf Academy and in cooperation with the institutions concerned with building awareness, according to El-Sisi.
Over the past few years, El-Sisi has affirmed the need to reform religious discourse as an important element in confronting extremist ideology.
This comes especially amid Egypt’s battle against terrorism especially in North and Central Sinai. Terror attacks have targeted Christian and Muslim worshippers, police and army forces and civilians.
Officials have frequently affirmed that the challenge of terrorism must be countered through a comprehensive approach that includes security and ideological solutions.
Earlier this week, El-Sisi said the Egyptian state would provide financial support for works of art that develop “real awareness” of the challenging issues facing the country, including terrorism and the need for the renewal of religious discourse.