Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Grand Imam of Azhar: Terrorism is an Intellectual and Psychological Disease | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Pope Francis welcomes Egyptian Grand Imam of al-Azhar Ahmed el-Tayeb during a private audience at the Vatican. (AFP)

Cairo, Alexandria – The terrorism in the world is not a result of any religion, but it is an intellectual and psychological disease that is always seeking excuses for its existence, said Grand Imam of al-Azhar Ahmed el-Tayeb.

He told Asharq Al-Awsat: “Terrorism and violence are two opposites and the armed religious groups that hide behind religion are traitors of their religion and country, not to mention themselves.”

Grand Imam of al-Azhar stated that the Islamic and Arab communities and the whole world are suffering from “this dangerous plague represented in violent and terrorist groups that have nothing to do with Islam’s dogma, sharia, morals, history and culture.”

“On the contrary, these armed groups have abandoned the holy Quran and Sunnah, adopting barbarism as a new methodology, sect and faith,” he added.

“This black terrorism has cost us, the Egyptians, and will cost our sons a high price as well, but this is a necessity to survive,” Tayeb added.

Tayeb stressed that amidst these tough conditions, everyone should be aware that terrorism has no religion or identity and it is unfair to attribute the explosions and destruction to Islam just because those who execute them shout “Allahu Akbar” when committing them.

He called on Muslims and non-Muslims to unite against terrorism and extremism and to intensify cooperation to eradicate this “lethal plague”.

He added that “Azhar insists on facing extremism and violence with rhetoric and intellect.”

Egypt’s Ministry of Interior identified in a statement on Wednesday the suicide bomber responsible for Sunday’s attack at Alexandria’s St. Mark’s Cathedral as 31-year-old Mahmoud Hassan Mubarak Abdallah.

The ministry said that Abdullah worked at an oil company and resided in the Suez governorate.