Grand imam of Egypt’s al-Azhar calls for end to anti-Muslim actions
Egypt’s Azhar Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb delivers a speech during an event in Abu Dhabi. (File photo:AFP)
By Tamara Abueish, Al Arabiya English
The Grand Imam of Egypt’s al-Azhar on Wednesday called on the international community to criminalize “anti-Muslim” actions, following images being displayed in France of the Prophet Mohammad.
Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, who sits at the head of the thousand-year-old seat of Sunni Muslim learning, also said that
al-Azhar strongly rejects the use of anti-Muslim sentiment to rally votes in elections.
He urged Muslims to resort to peaceful methods to deal with hate speech.
“Muslims must adhere to peaceful, legal and rational methods in resisting hate speech and obtaining their legitimate rights, following the example of their noble Prophet Mohammed, may God bless him and grant him peace,” al-Tayeb said amid calls across the Middle East to boycott French products.
French President Emmanuel Macron labelled the killing as “an Islamist terrorist attack” and tweeted in Arabic earlier this week that France would “not give in” and would “not accept hate speech and defend reasonable debate.”
In response, several Arab countries, including Kuwait and Jordan, urged their citizens to boycott French products over the use of Prophet Mohammed in French cartoons, with retail co-ops in Kuwait pulling French products from their shelves.
Social media users in the Kingdom also called for a boycott of French supermarket retailer Carrefour on Sunday.