Al-Azhar Grand Imam with Pope Tawadros II in the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo April 27, 2011.
CAIRO: 27 April 2019: The terrorist attack in Sri Lanka is part of a plan that uses religions to stir conflict, Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb said Saturday.
“Humanity is facing a scheme that invests religions in kindling wars and struggles. This is clearly manifested in the terrorist attacks against Muslims and Christians in NewZealand and Sri Lanka,” Tayeb said during a visit to the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo.
In a meeting with Pope Tawadros II, meant to send regards to the Coptic people on Easter, Tayeb emphasized that both Islam and Christianity do not give bases to terror or bloodshed, given “their love and peace-sustaining values.”
A deep understanding of religions is the only way to confront this “scheme,” the Imam said, calling on religious leaders to address the “erroneous employment” of religions.
On April 21, the day of the Sri Lankan carnage in which hundreds were killed in coordinated bombings on churches and hotels, the Grand Imam said “I cannot imagine a human being could target the peaceful on their celebration day.”
“Those terrorists' perverted disposition goes against the teachings of all religions. I pray that God grants patience to the families of the casualties and recovery to the injured,” he added.
Also on April 21, the World Organization for Al-Azhar Graduates expressed condolences to the victims’ families, asserting that all religions call for protecting and respecting places of worships.
In a statement, it added that targeting innocents, whatever their faiths, is prohibited in Islam.