|Cross section of participants|
The three-day religious elders conference in Cairo, Egypt where world religious leaders converged to discuss peace and unity among other issues ended with a strong condemnation of extremism and all forms of terrorism tag on religions.
This was one of the resolutions dubbed: ” the conference of Al-Azhar Declaration on Islamic Christian Mutual Co-Existence” read in Arabic by Prof. Ahmad Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders.
The conference resolved that all religions denounce terrorism and called on all those who attribute Islam with terrorism to stop forthwith.
It stated that it is wrong to attribute the criminal action of some individuals to the religion they profess as no religion encourage any act of violence and terrorism.
The conference submitted that all rights of dignity to the citizens are the duty of the state and must not be denied based on ethnicity, religion and gender.
It noted that all bad practices condemned by Shariah like blasphemy, murder,persecution and killing unjustifiably are all frowned at by all religions.
The conference attributed prevalence of violence, extremism and terrorism to ignorance and lack of understanding of the religions by the citizens.
It therefore called for rehabilitation and resuscitation of all religious culture and practices in order to engender mutual peaceful coexistence among all adherents of the religions.
It solicited for media cooperation with other institutions to promote moral education among all religions.
The conference announced the establishment of Al-Azhar partnership in the area of scholarship with other stakeholders.
Earlier, Tayeeb averred that when Prophet Muhammad migrated to Madinah from Makkah, there was no form of discrimination based on plurality of faiths as there was a framework of equality and peaceful coexistence among all citizens.
“This is Al-Azhar declaration towards promotion of peace, understanding and tolerance among the adherents of the religions. Lets live together in a world of peace”, he said.
The international conference of Al-Azhar’s and the Muslim Council of Elders has as its theme: ” Freedom, Citizenship, Diversity and Integration.”
It was co-organised by other religious institutions from the east and the west, with a view to confronting the phenomenon of Islamophobia, caused by terrorism and acts of violence.
Earlier in his keynote speech, His Holiness Pope Tawadros ll, Pope of Alexandria and the Patriarch of the Holy See, said that extremist ideology and terrorism could be cured through enlightened ideas.
He added that Egypt and the region are still suffering from extremist ideology coming from false understanding of religion.
Over 60 papers on the theme of the conference were delivered by delegates from 50 countries including Nigeria, USA, Italy, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan, Palestine, Lebanon and Germany among other top Muslim and Christian scholars in attendance.
The duo of Nigeria Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar and Sheikh Ibrahim Saleh al-Hussaini, Grant Mufti of Nigeria, were represented at the conference.