SHAFAQNA – The head of Al-Azhar on Wednesday condemned “barbaric crimes” committed by the militants of the terrorist group operating in Iraq and Syria, ISIL.
Militants are acting “under the guise of this holy religion and have given themselves the name ‘Islamic State’ in an attempt to export their false Islam,” Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb the head of told the opening session of a two-day international conference in Cairo on fighting extremism.
“I wonder and ask why this blind division exists that has tainted Arab blood,” Sheikh Tayeb said, adding that religious, political and economic factors were behind the emergence of groups such as ISIL.
But “some feel that our suffering is also a plot by Israel so it remains the most powerful country in the region, and that possibility can not be excluded”, he said.
Sheikh Tayeb called on the US-led coalition “to confront those countries who support terrorism financially and militarily”.
“But we should not ignore our own responsibility for the emergence of extremism that has led to the formation of organizations such as Al-Qaeda and other armed groups.”
The Cairo conference, organized by Al-Azhar, has delegates from several countries including Saudi Arabia, Iran and Morocco taking part.