The Grand Imam and Al Azhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb received French President Emmanuel Macron, his wife and accompanying delegation in Cairo, Egypt. January 29, 2019. Press Photo
CAIRO - 29 January 2019: The Grand Imam and Al Azhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb received French President Emmanuel Macron, his wife and accompanying delegation on Tuesday.
The Grand Imam said that Al Azhar and France have historic and cultural relations embodied in Azhar graduates who had studied in the European country, and later became icons of culture and intellect in Egypt. Tayeb expressed eagerness to sustain and reinforce such relations.
The Grand Imam added that the strong relations with France would make Al Azhar help it defeat terrorism and stand against those who kill innocent people in the name of religion. Tayeb stated that the institution is ready to train Imams in France to combat terrorist thoughts and to grant French students scholarships to study in Al Azhar so that the country becomes Europe’s center for the promotion of moderate religious thoughts.
The Grand Imam asserted that peace is the main message of Islam as conceived by Al Azhar that works on sustaining the dialogue with the West and main religious institutions worldwide such as the Holy See, the World Council of Churches, and Archbishop of Canterbury.
Al Azhar will take part in Abu Dhabi’s Humanity Fraternity Meeting that will kick off on February 3 where the Azhar Sheikh will meet with Pope Francis.
The French President expressed his delight for visiting the Grand Imam who plays a pivotal role in combating all forms of violence and terrorism, pushing for inter-faith dialogue, and reviving Islamic knowledge and disciplines.
Macron said he looked forward to further cooperation with Al Azhar to bolster the values of citizenship, coexistence, and stability in the French society, and combat extremist groups that recruit Muslim youths in France.
The French President expressed his desire that all French Imams receive training in Al Azhar, and to resume student exchange programs, scholarships, and academic relations.
Leave a Comment