» 02/23/2015, 00.00
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremism
For Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
Makkah (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The head of Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's foremost
seat of learning, has called for radical education reform in Muslim countries
in an effort to contain the spread of religious extremism.
Speaking at an international conference titled 'Islam and the fight
against terrorism' in Makkah, Ahmed al-Tayeb explained the rise of religious
extremism among Muslims on "the historical accumulation of extremist
tendencies... that grew out of corrupt interpretations of some texts in the Holy
Quran and Sunnah [Prophet Mohamed's teachings]".
In his view, "The only hope for the Muslim nation to recover unity is to
tackle in our schools and universities this tendency to accuse Muslims of being
unbelievers." Hence, special education programmes need to be implemented to
correct "false and ambiguous concepts."
called for a conference of Muslim scholars who focus on the common values that
unite them, whilst leaving each country's people to follow agree upon teachings.
speech comes in the wake of a string of executions by the Islamic State (IS) group
"to purify" Islam and fight its enemies. On 4 February, the Jihadist group released
a video showing a Jordanian pilot torched to death in a cage.
had issued a statement slamming the "barbaric
crimes" committed by IS. Reacting to the aforementioned incident, it stated
that the Qur'an prescribes "killing, crucifixion and chopping of the
limbs" for those who kill innocent people.
In Makkah, al-Tayeb did not explicitly mention IS, but denounced
"terrorist groups . . . who have opted for savage and barbaric practices".
At the same time, he blamed unrest in the region on a plot by what he
called "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". For him, this plot has exploited "confessional tensions" in conflict-ridden
Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya.
opening of the three-day conference, Prince Khaled read a statement from Saudi
King Salman, custodian of Islam's holiest sites.
is a scourge which is the product of extremist ideology," the king said. "It is
a threat to our Muslim nation and to the entire world."
more, the Saudi monarch said, terrorism has created a situation in which Muslims
are now seen as "culprits and as a source of fear and concern." This has shaken
the ties between Muslim and non-Muslim nations.
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