News

Grand Imam of Al Azhar Tells Leader of Far-Right French Party to “Correct” Views on Islam

Grand Imam of Al Azhar Tells Leader of Far-Right French Party to “Correct” Views on Islam

Grand Imam of al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb met with Marine Le Pen in Cairo Photo: AFP
Grand Imam of al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb met with Marine Le Pen in Cairo Photo: AFP

In a surprise visit, French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who heads the Front National party, has met with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb.

During the talks at Al-Azhar’s headquarter’s in Cairo, the Grand Imam of Sunni Islam’s top Islamic authority told Le Pen that Al-Azhar has been seriously concerned by the Front National’s views on Islam.

Le Pen, who has often warned against the ‘radical Islamization’ of France and has urged French authorities to crackdown and ‘eradicate’ fundamentalists, was told by Sheikh el-Tayeb that the Front National must correct its opinions about Islam.

In a statement, Al-Azhar said it questioned the FN’s “hostile opinions towards Islam and Muslims,” and urged the party to review and correct such opinions.

While Le Pen has recently said in an op-ed in the New York Times that “Islamist terrorism is a cancer on Islam, and Muslims themselves must fight it at our side,” Le Pen’s views towards immigration and monitoring of mosques, including her party’s rhetoric after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, have attracted fierce criticism. In an interview with Al-Jazeera, Le Pen also criticized Saudi Arabia and Qatar, stating that France must review its foreign policy and “stop rolling out the red carpet for countries we know to be funding fundamentalism, countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar.”

During the meeting, Le Pen and Sheikh el-Tayeb agreed that action must be taken to tackle “erroneous ideas and concepts about Islam and extremist ideologies” while also confronting “racism that some Muslims in Europe” suffer from.

Meanwhile, Le Pen also agreed that there is a need not to confuse Islam with the violent acts committed in its name by fundamentalists, said a statement by Al-Azhar. Confirming these statements, Le Pen tweeted that there had been “strong agreement” on the fight against extremism and radicalism.

According to Al-Azhar, the talks between Le Pen and the Grand Imam came after Le Pen’s request to discuss matters relating to Islam in Europe.

Le Pen also met with Coptic Pope Tawadros II, tweeting that the talks were “moving” and exemplified her solidarity with the Christians of Egypt and the Middle East.

Jordan's Prince Ali Withdraws from FIFA Presidency Race
Egypt Plans to Reduce Female Genital Mutilation Among Teenagers to 15 Percent

Subscribe to our newsletter


News

More in News

Cairo Rain Causes Chaotic Traffic, Power Outages

Egyptian StreetsOctober 22, 2019

UK Lifts Restrictions on Flights to Sharm El-Sheikh After 4-Year Ban

Egyptian StreetsOctober 22, 2019

Egypt’s Largest Metro Station in the Middle East to Be Inaugurated on Sunday

Egyptian StreetsOctober 19, 2019

Egypt’s Pope Tawadros Opens Coptic Orthodox Church in Belgium

Egyptian StreetsOctober 19, 2019

Stormy Lebanon Protests Triggered by Tax Decisions and Austerity Measures

Egyptian StreetsOctober 18, 2019

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak Shares War Memories in Rare Appearance

Egyptian StreetsOctober 15, 2019

New IMF Chief Hails Egypt’s Economic Reforms

Egyptian StreetsOctober 15, 2019

Uncontrollable Wild Fires in Lebanon Force Residents to Leave their Homes

Egyptian StreetsOctober 15, 2019