Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli speaks on behalf of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, during a high-level conference hosted by Al-Azhar, Egypt’s top Islamic institution - Egypt Today/Amr Mostafa
CAIRO – 27 January 2020: President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi calls on religious institutions to attach great importance to the renewal of religious discourse, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli said on behalf of the president, during a high-level conference hosted by Al-Azhar, Egypt’s top Islamic institution, on Monday.
The conference, dubbed “Al-Azhar International Conference on Renovation of Islamic Thought” was attended by a number of top leaders; prominent political and religious figures; and representatives of the Awqaf (Endowments) Ministry; Dar Al-Iftaa, Egypt’s religious authority authorized with issuing religious fatwas (opinions); and Islamic councils from 41 Arab and Islamic countries.
President Sisi urges accelerating efforts to renovate religious discourse, warning that procrastination would give the opportunity to those who claim knowledge to brainwash youth into adopting wrong beliefs and misconception of religion, Madbouli said.
The prime minister added that the president hopes that this conference will be followed by other annual conferences calling for the renovation of religious thought.
Explaining the mechanism of renovation, Madbouli said the renovation does not target the constants of religion. It instead aims at renovating behaviors and dealings, the prime minister said, adding that Fatwas (religious opinions) change from a country to another and from time to another.
The main themes of the conference include innovation concepts and mechanisms, the dismantling of misconceptions, women's and family issues and the role of international, religious and academic institutions in renewing Islamic thought.
The conference discusses the renewal conditions, causes and factors, and will treat misconceptions related to Jihad (the sacred fight of Muslims to defend Islam, with force if required).
President Sisi, since taking office in 2014, has called for developing religious discourse, especially that of Islam, and addressing religious misconceptions used by some extremist groups to justify their terrorist acts and deceive the youth.
The calls for renewing religious discourse, endorsed by the Ministry of Endowments (Awaqf Ministry), are believed to be part of the state’s war against terrorism.
At the ceremony of Muslim’s Laylat al-Qadr at the headquarters of the Ministry of Endowments in June, Sisi said that people’s behaviors could affect the image of their religion negatively or positively in other nations’ points of views.
“Strong religion could be weakened by its believers’ behaviors,” said Sisi, adding that Muslims should represent Islam in a good way through their practices.