Sun, 08 Nov 2020 - 10:36 GMT
Sun, 08 Nov 2020 - 10:36 GMT
Egyptian Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El Tayeb on Sunday met with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian
CAIRO – 9 November 2020: Egyptian Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El Tayeb on Sunday met with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, and pledged to prosecute those insulting Islam’s Prophet before international courts.
Le Drian met Tayeb in Cairo, days after President Emmanuel Macron defended freedom of expression, including the right to draw cartoons depicting the prophet.
Those are the messages issued by the Grand Imam during the meeting, according to Al-Azhar’s statement:
- If you consider insulting our Prophet Muhammad -peace be upon him- freedom of expression, then we categorically reject it.
- Insulting our Prophet Muhammad -peace be upon him- is totally rejected, and we will prosecute those who offend our noble Prophet in international courts, even if we spend our whole life only doing that.
- Europe is indebted to our Prophet Muhammad, and to our religion, for the light that this religion brought to all humanity.
- We refuse that terrorism be described as Islamic, and we have neither the time nor the luxury to get involved into terms that we have no interest in, and everyone should stop this term immediately, because it offends the feelings of Muslims in the world, and is a term that contradicts the truth that everyone knows.
- My speech is far from diplomacy when it comes to talking about Islam and its Prophet -peace be upon him-.
- The statement of the French Foreign Minister during the course of the crisis was respected and appreciated by us, and was a voice of reason and wisdom that we encourage.
- Muslims around the world reject terrorism that acts in the name of religion, and they affirm the innocence of Islam and its Prophet from any terrorism.
-Al-Azhar represents the voice of nearly two billion Muslims, and I said that the terrorists do not represent us, and we are not responsible for their actions, and I announced this in all international forums, in Paris, London, Geneva, the United States, Rome, countries in Asia and everywhere, and when we say that, we do not say it as an apology, Islam is not in need for apologies.
- We wanted officials in Europe to be aware that what is happening does not represent Islam and Muslims, especially since Muslims are the ones who pay the price for this terrorism the most.
- I am the first to protest against freedom of expression if this freedom offends any religion, not just Islam.
- I and this Azhar turban carried roses in Bataclan Square and declared our rejection of any terrorism.
- The transgressions are present among the followers of every religion and under the various systems, so if we say that Christianity is not responsible for the New Zealand incident; We must also say that Islam is not responsible for terrorism of those who fight in its name. I never accept Islam to be accused of terrorism.
- We are here in Al-Azhar facing terrorism in thought and education, and we have put in place new decisions and curricula that show everyone that terrorists are criminals and that Islam is innocent from their actions.