File- French President Emmanuel Macron and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attend a news conference at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, France, October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
CAIRO- 2 November 2020- In a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi affirmed that there should be a vivid differentiation between Islam and terrorist acts that are being committed in the name of the religion, said Presidential spokesperson Bassam Radi in a statement on Monday.
“President stressed the necessity to completely differentiate between the Islamic religion, which calls for peace, tolerance and the renunciation of violence, and between terrorist actions committed by those who claim that they belong t Islam,” said President Sisi, adding “[Islam] has no relation with such acts in all forms. The perpetrators shall not justify their [terrorist] acts in the name of any divine religion.”
President Sisi highlighted the necessity of disseminating the values of coexistence and tolerance among the various religions through dialogue, understanding, mutual respect, and not harming the religious figures and symbols, Radi said.
“Egypt continues playing its role in this context, in a way that prevents terrorist groups and the countries that support them from achieving their goals, from distorting the image of Islam, and trading in its name to fuel Muslims’ anger,” President Sisi said.
The phone call also tackled a number of bilateral ties and issues of mutual concern, particularly the Libyan turmoil, Radi said.
French President Emmanuel Macron had said France would not renounce cartoons after a French teacher was killed for showing pupils cartoons distorting the image of Prophet Muhammad.
Macron’s remarks have triggered Muslim nations’ anger. Also, campaigns to boycott French products have been circulated and encouraged on social media.
During a speech to mark Prophet Muhammad's birthday celebrated every year by some Muslims in the Hijri month of Rabi’ Al-Awwal on October 30, 2020, Sisi denounced insulting prophets and messengers under the pretext of 'freedom of expression', demanding stopping all acts that hurt the feelings of a million and a half Muslims all over the world, and not to blame them for others actions.
He said that “we [as Muslims] consider offending prophets and messengers is undermining high religious values that many people believe in. If you don’t believe then, this is your business, but hurting the feelings of Millions?!”
In his speech at the celebration, Al-Azhar Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb said that If Prophet Muhammad [Peace and Blessing be upon him] were not sent, all humanity would have remained in full darkness.”
In light of this regard, President Sisi received a video call from German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, discussing the possible ways of countering terrorism and extremist ideology, announced Egyptian presidency spokesperson Bassam Radi in a statement.
The German Chancellor expressed the European Union’s support to cooperate with Egypt’s ancient religious institutions as a beacon of moderate Islam in the world, Radi said.
He noted that Merkel praised President’s Sisi’s effective, objective and wise efforts in protecting religious freedoms and promoting peaceful coexistence between religions and civilizations.