On 28 February 2017, an international conference organized by Al-Azhar and the Muslim Council of Elders took place in Cairo, Egypt. The conference was titled ‘Freedom and Citizenship: Diversity and Integration’. The conference was organised to present Al-Azhar’s Declaration for Muslim Christian Coexistence, and to promote international peace. It was attended by around 600 delegates, academic figures, and Muslim and Christian religious figures from over 50 countries, with over 60 papers being presented on the theme of the conference delivered by the delegates, advocating the concepts of freedom, citizenship and coexistence.
The conference was hosted by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Chair of the Muslim Council of Elders, Dr Ahmad al-Tayyeb Shaykh al-Azhar, who delivered his important speech in the opening session of the conference.
To read the full speech, please click here.
To see news report of the conference, please click here.
The Grand Imam, Dr Ahmad al-Tayyeb Shaykh al-Azhar, highlighted the following:
- It is indeed very sad and painful to witness the portrayal of religion as a mere tool in order to persecute and destroy the lives of innocent people. This negative approach and onslaught on Islam has the potential to lead the whole world against the religion of Islam.
- With the emergence of the phenomenon of Islamophobia, the double standards applied cannot be missed between the universal trial of Islam on the one hand, and Christianity and Judaism on the other.
- If the religious institutions in the East and the West do not work together in countering Islamophobia, eventually anti-religion forces will launch their sails towards Christianity and Judaism sooner or later.
- The clarity and differentiation that religions have nothing to do with the terrorism is no longer enough, and we must move further forward and take the principles, ethics and values of religions to the troubled world.