Al-Azhar’s Role Abroad: Signs of Escalation and Efforts to Undermine

Source: Atlantic Council
Author(s): Belal Abdallah

Original Link:

Last month, the Sheikh of al-Azhar, Dr Ahmed al-Tayeb, visited the German capital Berlin to attend the Protestant Church’s celebration marking five centuries since the start of the reformation. During his visit he met Germany’s president and a number of other ministers. This came after the visit of Pope Francis II to Egypt, on the invitation of the country’s top Imam, to attend a global conference on peace held at al-Azhar from April 27-28. These high-level political meetings have once again sparked debate over demands for al-Azhar to play a greater role on the world stage to counter the growth of global terrorism. This in turn raises questions about al-Azhar’s growing role and how effective and successful it can be.

With the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS, ISL, or Daesh) and growing waves of refugees and irregular migrants towards Europe, intensifying conflict between Sunnis and Shias and ever more frequent terrorist attacks in the West, many are banking on al-Azhar to play a role as a religious partner of the West to help the political, social, security and cultural crises facing Muslim peoples and minorities and to tackle terrorism….

Read more at Original Link.

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