20 February 2018

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The Grand Imam of Al Azhar condemns the killing of Fr. Jacques Hamel in France

Ahmad Al Tayyeb offers condolences to the French president, the archbishop of Rouen, the victims' families and to the whole of France. The assailants "devoid of any sense of humanity." In Islam "there is the order to respect the sacred places of worship and the sanctity of non-Muslims”. Counter terrorism means also fighting “extremist thought” in Islam.

Cairo (AsiaNews) The Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Ahmad Al Tayyeb, the highest Islamic authority in the Sunni Muslim world, has condemned "the terrorist attack that took place in the Saint Etienne church near the city of Rouen in the north-east of France, which has caused the death of the priest and the injury of others during a raid on the church and the taking of hostages".

"Those who carried out this savage attack" - he continued in his statement released just hours ago - are devoid "of any sense of humanity and all the values ​​and principles of Islamic tolerance, which invite us to peace and to avoid the bloodshed of innocents, without any distinction of religion, color, gender, or ethnicity”. The leader stressed that Islam "commands believers to respect the sacred places of worship and the sanctity of non-Muslims".

The Grand Imam of Al Azhar calls for an "intensification of efforts and joint initiatives to deal with the cancer of terrorism that now threatens the entire world, destroys innocent souls and threatens world peace”.

He confirmed that the Mosque of Al Azhar will continue "its path in the struggle againstextremist thought by reforming the lexicon used in religion until terrorism is completely uprooted and withered at its source".

Al Tayyeb finally expressed his "sincere condolences to the President of the French Republic François Hollande, the Archbishop of Rouen Msgr. Dominique Lebrun and to the families of victims" as well as extending his sorrow to “our friend the entire French people”.

The Imam of Al Azhar met Pope Francis at the Vatican last May, after several years of chilly relations (see photo).

See also

27/07/2016 15:44:00 FRANCE - ISLAM
Muslims grieve murder of Fr. Jacques Hamel, denounce "disease of Islamism”

French Muslims condemn the "cowardly and barbaric" murder of the priest of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, and call for vigilance so that Islam is not taken "hostage" of Islamism. Daesh have long preached the destruction of those "gray areas" where Muslims encounter Westerners, denying the possibility of any dialogue and coexistence between Islam and the West and between Islam and Christians.

28/07/2016 15:09:00 FRANCE-ISLAM
Second terrorist who murdered Fr. Jacques Hamel identified: a 19 year old youth

The young man had tried to go to Syria to fight with the Islamic State. In a video, Abdel Malik Nabil Petitjean and Adel Kermiche, the two terrorists, swear allegiance to the "Caliph" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Religious representatives in France: No to religious war. Muslim thinkers: To defeat Isis, guarantee religious freedom for non-Muslim communities in Islamic countries. Others ask for the revision of alliances with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, supporters of the Wahabi jihadism and indirect supporters of the Islamic State.

01/08/2016 12:52:00 FRANCE-ISLAM
Muslims pray with Catholics. But Islamism is still present and of concern

Hundreds of Muslims attended Catholic Masses yesterday, in a sign of solidarity and mourning for the killing of Fr. Jacques Hamel, near Rouen. His community has been very active in interfaith dialogue. One of the young terrorists who killed him took part in the prayer in the mosque. Manuel Valls proposes education for imams, and the blocking of foreign financing for mosques.

03/10/2016 09:08:00 FRANCE-ISLAM
The Church of Fr. Jacques Hamel reopens. Exceptionally, process of beatification begins

It had been closed since the day of the murder of the priest at the hands of two young jihadists. A ceremony of reparation led by the Archbishop of Rouen, followed by Mass. Pope Francis has agreed to the request of the faithful to accelerate the process of beatification. The ceremony was also attended by members of the local Muslim community.


21/04/2017 10:45:00 FRANCE - ISLAM
More terror in Paris: Islamic State claims Champs Elisées attack

The author was known by the security forces as dangerous. The attack a few days ahead of the presidential election. The long series of violence in Paris, Nice, Rouen, and Marseilles. Causes to be found among poverty and abandonment in the suburbs, but also of the fundamentalist teaching of many imams in the French mosques.

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