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Al-Azhar slams Salafist calls to form fact-finding committee in newly-freed Mosul city

Monday 17-07-2017 - 01:18 PM
Al-Azhar versus Salafist movements
Oumayma and her son
Oumayma and her son Ali fled with their family after their home town was hit by bombs. (©2015 World Vision/photo by Jo Currie)

Cairo – Egypt’s Al-Azhar, the world's leading institution on Sunni Islam, has criticized Salafist calls for interfering in the Mosul city crisis after graphic footages circulated on social media websites showing that Sunnis are being targeted by the People's Mobilization Forces (PMF). Al-Azhar stressed that it is not concerned with forming or dispatching any mission or committee to anywhere. Rather, Al-Azhar reiterates its deep respect for the internal affairs of any state out of its vehement belief in the sovereignty of every state over its citizens.

Iraq has declared victory in the fight to retake Mosul, the nation’s second-largest city, from ISIL. The battle to regain the former ISIL stronghold started in October 2016.

Leaked ٍStill images
Leaked ٍStill images of a number of violations by PMF-affiliated Militias

Dr. Mohieldin Afifi, Secretary-General of Al-Azhar’s Islamic Research Academy, explained that those Salafists calling upon Al-Azhar to form a fact-finding committee following the liberation of Mosul city lacks a real understanding of the role played by Al-Azhar in the world as a religious-cum-educational institution. Afifi asserted that Al-Azhar, has never, and will never interfere in the internal affairs of other states.

Speaking  to ‘Al-Bawaba News Portal,’ Afifi said: “Those who are aware of the nature of our global role will know that we are an academic institution that corrects misconceptions no matter where, when or who are promoting them. However, we deeply respect the internal affairs of other countries, especially since our mission and vision are totally against interfering in the affairs of others.” “Every nation has sovereignty over its citizens, as much as it has to mind its own business,” he stressed.

People's Mobilization
People's Mobilization Forces (PMF) In Iraq

Afifi added: “Al-Azhar, as a purely religious institution, has global presence in almost all countries of the world. We communicate with more than 70 countries on a large scale. Our impact is very remarkable; it is well known to everyone. Our vision based on respect for others is a principle we will never do without.”

Sheikh Mohammed al-Qatawi, a senior preacher of the Ministry of Al-Awqaf, pointed out that Salafist calls for al-Azhar is merely another hopeless attempt to re-emerge on the scene after their mendacity has been exposed once and for all.

PMF is an Iraqi state-sponsored umbrella organization composed of some 40 militias, which are mainly Shia Muslim groups, but there are Sunni Muslim, Christian, and Yazidi individuals as well. It was formed upon a fatwa by the Iraqi top Shia cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani calling for national mobilization against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).


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