The Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, the top Sunni Islamic authority, has condemned recent “extremist and racist” comments by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that had called for barring all Muslims from entering the United States.
In multiple statements, the Grand Sheikh warned that the comments would “increase tensions” within the United States and would provoke Muslims across the globe.
“We warn against such hate speech, which represents a clear provocation of one and a half billion Muslims around the world, and is incompatible with all religions, international conventions, and humanitarian principles,” said Ahmed El-Tayeb, the Grand Sheikh, in a statement.
Dar El-Iftaa, which is responsible for issuing religious edicts, also issued a statement condemning Trump’s comments.
“It is unfair to punish all Muslims because of a group of extremists whose criminal actions are repudiated by Islam,” read the statement by Dar El-Iftaa.
Donald Trump’s comments have attracted global criticism. World leaders that have condemned the comments, which called on a “total and complete” bar on all Muslims entering the U.S., include British Prime Minister David Cameron and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.
How horrible. Voldemort was nowhere near as bad. https://t.co/hFO0XmOpPH
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 8, 2015
On Twitter, the French Prime Minister wrote that their only enemy is radical Islam.
“Mr Trump, like others, has hatred and amalgam,” said the French Prime Minister on Twitter.
Meanwhile, popular author J. K. Rowling, whose Harry Potter books became a worldwide sensation, said that Voldemort “was nowhere near as bad” as Trump.
In the United States, both Republicans and Democrats condemned Trump’s comments as inflammatory and insensible. The Pentagon, in response, said there are currently more than 5,000 Muslims serving in the U.S. army.
Trump has stood by his comments, stating that he is “not a bigot” in a recent statement.