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Al-Azhar's Grand Imam on 'Takfirism' in contemporary Egypt

Sunday 16-07-2017 - 03:04 PM
Mohamed Arabi
Takfiri Ideology;
Takfiri Ideology; the Opposite of What Islam Demands from Muslims
Cairo – Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayyib, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, said that the practice of excommunication of Muslims– also known as takfir or Takfirisim—in modern times has appeared in inside Egyptian prisons in the wake of the 1967 Setback War and the subsequent wars.
In an interview posted on Al-Azhar official Twitter page on Monday, Al-Tayyib said that the ideology of ​​takfir in the modern time was emerged, developed and thrived inside the prisons in the aftermath of the 1967 Setback War.
He added that at that time he offered them—i.e. the imprisoned youth— a deal that is ‘to write a statement in support of the rulers (who were Jamal Abdul Nasser (d.1970) and Anwar el-Sadat (d. 1981) and to renounce any ideology hell-bent on excommunicating other Muslims in exchange of helping to secure an early release from prison for them.
Al-Tayyib then pointed out that his deal offer was met with two reactions from the imprisoned youth at the time. Some had agreed to pen statements supporting the state at the time, while other youth adamantly declined the offer which they considered as “unacceptable compromise" in the religion.
Takfirism has been defined as ‘a Muslim who accuses another Muslim or non-practicing Muslim of apostasy.’
The accusation itself is called takfir, derived from the word kafir (unbeliever), and is described as when "one who is, or claims to be, a Muslim is declared impure.

Accusing other Muslims of being takfiris has become a sectarian slur, particularly since the outbreak of the Arab uprising, especially civil wars in the Levant in 2011.

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