Al-Azhar Grand Imam calls on Libyan imams to prevent young Libyans falling pray to extremist ideology – Al Marsad

Libya, 16 March 2019–  The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar in Cairo, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed Ahmed el-Tayeb, has told a delegation of Libyan imams and preachers they have a duty to stop young Libyans becoming entangled with extremism. He met on Thursday with the delegation which consisted of members of the Libyan branch of the International Organisation of Al-Azhar Alumni.

He said that Al-Azhar would spare no effort to help Libya out of its current crisis, faced with violence and terrorism. This was part of a responsibility Al-Azhar had assumed for more than a thousand years, he explained – to preserve the centrality of Islam and spread its tolerant teachings to all Muslims in the world.

Praising the activities of the Libya alumni branch, he said that Al-Azhar considered its graduates in Libya as ambassadors, carrying the message of moderation and opposition to violence and terrorism. He reaffirmed Al-Azhar’s readiness to provide all forms of theological support to the Libyan branch.

For their part, the Libyan imams and preachers stressed that the Azhari approach was the one that prevailed among the majority of Libyans and which had kept the country’s social fabric from disintegrating for decades. However, recently, ideas very different to those of Al-Azhar had had been implanted in the country sowing discord and causing some Libyans to turn against the rest.

The imams agreed that extremist ideology had to be confronted and there had to be a return to Al-Azhar’s approach. It strengthened pluralism and an acceptance of differences, combated extremism and prevented young people coming under the influence of terrorist groups.

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