Cairo - The Al-Azhar’s Council of Senior Scholars, on Tuesday, rejected claims accusing it of fostering extremism and sectarianism and said that the Al-Azhar is the only official institute responsible to uphold and spread righteous Islamic dogma.
In an official statement released following a meeting, headed by the Grand Imam of the Azhar, Ahmed El-Tayyeb, to discuss several issues, the council described itself as “the only ones mandated to teach righteous Islamic dogma that spreads peace and stability between Muslims themselves and between Muslims and others.”
“The proof of this is the millions who have graduated from the Al-Azhar, whether in Egypt or worldwide, and who call for peace. It is a falsification of people’s awareness and a defamation of its teachings to accuse it [the Azhar] of nurturing terrorists,” the statement read.
The statement also said that the council stands side-by-side with the Coptic Orthodox Church against the latest attacks, stressing that the Egyptian people will be able to fight off terrorism and extremism.
Criticism of Al-Azhar has increased since the bombings of the two churches in Egypt last week attacks, with some public figures accusing the venerable Islamic institution, which has branches all over Egypt and several abroad, of spreading extremism through its teachings and syllabuses.
The Council of Senior Islamic Scholars is an advisory board comprised of prominent Azhar clerics; appointees are selected by the grand imam.