Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Muslims Council of Elders: Hostage-Taking, Killing People in Churches are Inhumane Practices | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55355347

A French policeman arrests a man in connection to the attack
at the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvra in Normandy, France. Reuters

Cairo-Commenting on the slaughter of the French priest in a church in the north of France, the Muslims Council of Elders has rejected attacks on places of worship, killing innocent people and intimidating civilians, describing them as inhumane practices implemented by groups that oppose all religions and humanitarian traditions.

In a new voice message, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has encouraged the organization’s supporters on kidnapping Western civilians in order to exchange them with Muslim prisoners in the West. An Egyptian report has warned from this record’s negative reflection on foreign investments in the Arab and Islamic world.

Observers see that many of the terrorist groups and organizations which supported al-Qaeda and were trained by its members have announced their separation from it, and pledged allegiance to ISIS since the announcement of its so-called Caliphate in 2014. Therefore, al-Qaeda seeks to return to the scene by targeting the westerners like ISIS does.

Observers noted that the priest’s slaughter in France points to ISIS’ involvement using the “lone wolves” strategy, which usually moves without referring to the organization.

The Muslims Council of Elders has called on Muslims in a statement to work on setting a clear strategy to spread global peace and to dedicate the values of security and coexistence to combat terrorism and extremism, and deeply condemned the church attack in France, which lives in high alert following a series of assaults.

Al-Azhar has also renewed its refusal for all kinds of attacks against places of worship, killing innocent people and taking them hostages, saying that the Islamic Sharia and all other religions oppose these acts. Al-Azhar also stressed the importance of cooperation and coordination to combat terrorism, enhance the culture of coexistance, and make all efforts to stop violence.

Ahmed el-Tayeb, grand Imam of al-Azhar, said that those who committed the last attack in France lack human values and all tolerant principles of Islam, which call to protect innocent people without discrimination. Tayeb also asserted that Islam imposes the respect of other religions and their places of worship.

Commenting on Zawahiri’s voice message, the Egyptian report noted that the Qaeda leader’s call shows that the organization suffers from a heavy lack of fighters and aims at luring back its members who were imprisoned by states and governments.

The report prepared by the Dar al-Ifta al Misryyah pointed that this message is expected to have negative effects on tourism and investments in Islamic and Arabic countries.

Zawahiri’s call to kidnap foreigners has not been the first. In July, he released another recorded message in which he threatened the United States.

The report added that similar calls and statements made by the leaders of extremist organizations deepen the distorted image about Islam and Muslims, which lead western citizens to adopt hostile positions against Islam, Muslims, and their causes.

The report has urged Arab and Islamic governments and regimes to cooperate and coordinate to prevent these organizations from achieving their goals, to avoid their possible repercussions and the gap they may cause between Islam and certain countries and communities.