Muftis gather in Egypt in bid to counter ‘extremist fatwas’

CAIRO: Senior Muslim scholars have convened in the Egyptian capital Cairo to address “extremist fatwas” issued by terror groups especially the Daesh or ISIS.

Muftis, who are considered official interpreters of Islamic law in their countries, and other Muslim clerics from Arab countries gathered in Cairo on Monday to attend the Fatwa International Conference on ways to counter a dramatic rise in the number of extremist fatwas issued by terrorist groups.

“The goal of this conference is to unite the message of muftis in light of the challenges faced by the region and world in the shape of extremist fatwas and groups that talk in the name of religion,” said Ibrahim Negm, an adviser to Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam, Egypt’s grand mufti, who also delivered a speech at the opening session of the conference.

Negm added that the establishment of a general secretariat for muftis and centers to monitor and refute extremist fatwas, as well as offering training to aspiring muftis could be decided during the two-day conference. 

The adviser said that the participants in the conference also aimed at “creating a new strategy for Muslim communities in the West to confront extremist thought.”

In an address to the conference, Ahmed Muhammad Ahmed el-Tayeb, the head of the prestigious Cairo-based Islamic al-Azhar institution, urged strict measures against extremist edicts.  

“You do not need to be reminded that leniency (in dealing) with fatwas that excommunicate” Muslims has resulted in “murder and bloodshed,” al-Azhar’s grand imam told the conference.

The conference in Cairo is held as the Takfiri Daesh group, which is operating mainly in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Libya, has been committing heinous crimes, including immolation, rape, slavery, and execution, against all ethnic and religious groups, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and others.

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