14:58 GMT +314 December 2019
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    Ahmed el-Tayeb the grand sheik of Cairo's Al-Azhar

    Egypt Top Cleric Calls for Religious Education Reform to Counter Extremism

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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)
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    Sheikh Ahmed Tayeb of Egypt's al-Azhar University, the country's most respected Sunni Islamic institution, strongly condemned terrorism and urged Muslims to unite against the threat posed by Islamic extremists.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Sheikh Ahmed Tayeb of Egypt's al-Azhar University, the country's most respected Sunni Islamic institution, called for religious education reform in order to tackle the misinterpretation of the Quran by extremists, the BBC reported Monday.

    The cleric's plea came after the recent beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya by Islamic State militants. In response, Egyptian and Libyan bombers attacked IS targets in Libya. The group, which governs a caliphate on swathes of land across Iraq and Syria, is notorious for multiple kidnappings and brutal executions.

    Speaking at a counter-terrorism conference in the Saudi holy city of Mecca, Tayeb strongly condemned terrorism and urged Muslims to unite against the threat posed by Islamic extremists.

    "The only hope for the Muslim nations to recover unity is to tackle in our schools and universities this tendency to accuse Muslims of being unbelievers," the BBC quoted him as saying.

    On Sunday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi said in a televised statement that the creation of a united Arab military force is crucial in the struggle against terrorism in the Middle East. He added that several countries including the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, had offered their help in the fight against the jihadists.

    A US-led international coalition of 60 countries has been conducting airstrikes against the IS since August 2014.

    Topic:
    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)

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    Daesh, education, counterterrorism, Sheikh Ahmed Tayeb, Egypt
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