01:02 GMT01 March 2021
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    Abbas Shoman stressed the need for an ideological battle against ISIL, instead of a military one.

    “The problem is, those who control religious discourse, they and their stances should be reviewed,” Shoman, the deputy sheikh of Egypt’s Al-Azhar Institute, told Agence France-Presse. “You must be certain that those in charge of religious discourse are not helping in the spread of terrorism.”

    He explained that to combat militancy, an intellectual treatment was necessary in addition to security treatment.

    He also explained that those susceptible to extremist ways of thinking are often not well educated in the religion or are new to it, and therefore can be easily misguided.

    “You will find that these people lack in (Islamic) education, and have not been religious for long, and yet they consider what they’re doing is jihad,” he said.

    The cleric explained that his institute could send educators to France, or train others, so that they could counter extremism by introducing an education center in the country.

    “You have to open the path for moderate clerics, and Azhar is ready,” he said.

    “And if we can’t guide the terrorists, at least we can protect other” Muslims.

    He did note, however, that clerics and educators would also require protection from extremists.

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    Tags:
    Daesh, Muslim, Al-Azhar institute, Abbas Shoman, Egypt, Paris
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