Egypt: Tayyeb - Terrorism 'Globally Created'

Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed el Tayyeb said on Sunday that terrorism is globally created and the Arab world is the biggest arena for terror crimes.

Speaking during his meeting with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, Tayyeb was surprised that the international community has no power to eliminate terrorism, noting Muslims and Arabs are the biggest victims of terrorism.

The Grand Imam voiced his readiness for cooperation to uproot extremism and terrorism.

"Regardless diplomacy, I will be the first one who protests against any insult against our religion and prophet," Tayyeb asserted.

The extremists exploit such hate speeches to carry out terror crimes, he noted, adding that the governments should prevent those crimes before happening.

He described the French magazine's insults to nearly two billion Muslims as a crime, not a freedom of expression, a matter, which hurts the Muslims' feelings and harms France's interests in the Arab and Islamic countries.

Any affront to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is totally unacceptable, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed el Tayyeb told Le Drian.

"We will take whomsoever insults our most honorable prophet to intentional courts, even if it means spending our whole life doing so," the grand imam added during his meeting with the French official at Al-Azhar Sheikdom in Cairo.

"If you consider insulting the Prophet Muhammad is freedom of speech, we make clear to you our outright rejection of such form of freedom," Tayyeb said, adding that he would be the first to denounce such freedom if it leads to insulting any religion, not only Islam.

"Al-Azhar is the voice of nearly two billion Muslims, and I have always said that terrorists do not represent our religion, neither are we responsible for their actions. I have made that point clear at all international forums, including those held in Paris, Geneva, the US, Rome and Asian countries," the grand imam said.

Criticizing those who try to link Islam with terrorism by using terms such as "Islamic terrorism," Tayyeb urged all parties to stop using such terms, which hurt the feelings of Muslims all over the world and are contrary to the truth known by all.

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