Al-Azhar calls for rational response to anti-Islam attacks

MENA, Wednesday 12 Sep 2012

Al-Azhar's Senior Scholars Authority issues a statement calling for awareness to be spread about Islam in response to attacks on the religion

The Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tayeb (Photo: Reuters).

The newly reinstated Senior Scholars Authority of Egypt's Al-Azhar University has underlined the importance of a wise response to repeated attacks on Islam, its symbols and holy sites, giving the examples of desecrating and burning the Quran, attacking and demolishing mosques and finally insulting the Prophet Mohamed.

The authority, headed by Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayeb, said that reactions should clarify Islamic facts and avoid blaming the innocent for the deeds of the guilty.

In a statement published Wednesday, the authority emphasised the importance that Muslims rationalise, be aware of and use an objective outlook when dealing with such problems, saying that falsifying the image of Islam and its figures is an old practice that came to prominence alongside the birth of Islam.

The Senior Scholars Authority called on Islamic academic institutions to study the phenomenon of aggression against Islam in order to determine its sources and the factors affecting it, and also the intellectual methods best used to quell such antagonism.

The authority recommended increasing efforts to reveal the truth about Islam through communicating with expat communities and Islamic centres in the West, especially those where attacks emanate from. It said it would form an initiative to this effect soon.

A film deemed offensive to the Prophet Mohamed sparked protests in Egypt and Libya Tuesday that left the US ambassador to Libya dead and saw the US flag burnt in front of the US Embassy in Cairo, Egypt.

The offending film was directed by Israeli-American film maker Sam Bacile who went into hiding following Tuesday's events.

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