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Al-Azhar Sheikh Slam Silence of the International Community on the Palestinian Rights

I am deeply saddened by the silence of the international community regarding the rights of the Palestinian people and the repeated attacks on Islamic and Christian holy sites,” said the grand imam of al-Azhar .

Grand Imam of Egypt’s Al-Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders Ahmed Al-Tayyeb reiterated the necessity of sticking to the principles of human fraternity as the “foundation for international peace and security”.

The grand Imam made the remarks as he addressed a UN Security Council session on “The Values of Human Fraternity in Promoting and Sustaining Peace” on Wednesday.

“There is no better option in addressing our contemporary crises than embracing human fraternity, which can be likened to the lost paradise,” Tayyeb stated.

Al-Azhar is working in cooperation with the Muslim Council of Elders, the Catholic Church, the Church of England, and other diverse religious institutions, to organize a gathering of religious leaders to consult on these crises, Tayyeb said.

He added that the gathering will also work on identifying shared responsibilities in facing them, particularly in relation to climate change and the escalating pace of wars and conflicts.

Tayyeb called for political leaders and decision-makers in the international community to back such efforts in order for them to yield the desired outcome, represented in establishing international peace and security on the ground and in the people’s lives.

Al-Azhar grand imam defended Islam against claims of terrorism, noting that terrorism is “driven primarily by global hegemonic policies, material philosophies, and economic doctrines that disregard moral principles.”

Moreover, Tayyeb affirmed the need for stopping the futile wars that have erupted in recent decades in many countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and Yemen as well as the wars on the eastern borders of Europe.

Tayyeb also underlined the oppression and cruelty faced by the Palestinian people amid international silence.

“I am deeply saddened by the silence of the international community regarding the rights of the Palestinian people and the repeated attacks on Islamic and Christian holy sites,” the grand imam added.

He called on the UNSC and the international community to recognize an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and to protect the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque compound from the ongoing violations it faces day after day.

Hatred takes root in the soil of ignorance and fear.

In a speech at the session, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres affirmed that it is the duty of religious leaders to prevent instrumentalization of hatred amidst their followers.

He also hailed the declaration “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” – co-authored by Tayyeb and Pope Francis as “a model for compassion and human solidarity.”

The declaration “urges religious and political leaders to bring an end to wars, conflicts, and environmental degradation,” Guterres added.

Guterres highlighted the threat of xenophobia, racism and intolerance, violent misogyny, anti-Muslim hatred, virulent anti-Semitism, and attacks on minority Christian communities.

He stressed that every great faith summons the imperatives of human fraternity, mutual respect and understanding.

About Ali Teymoori

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