Dar Al-Ifta warns against spread of takfirist thought
Egypt's Dar al-Ifta - YOUM7 (Archive)
By MUHAMMAD GHAMRAWY

CAIRO:  Dar Al-Ifta warned on Monday against the gravity of the spread of takfirist thought, and the consequent bloodshed and loss of life, which it stated was for realizing the political gains and goals of certain factions.

“Protecting the homelands is not limited to confronting aggression, but also requires opposing every stray thought,” Dar Al-Ifta said in its statement.

Dar Al-Ifta, the highest authority entrusted with issuing religious edicts (fatwas), added that the Takfir Observatory, which it recently established for confronting this phenomenon, revealed that “Egyptian society is facing successive waves of takfirism and smear campaigns against several factions in society.”

It added that Takfir (apostasy) is one of the issues which is governed by terms, regulations and conditions which cannot be overstepped, “because a verdict of apostasy can only be made after a court ruling.”

The statement added that the danger of takfirist thought lies in the idea that takfirists feel entitled to the lives and funds of the people whom they deem to be apostates, “claiming that it is for God’s sake, when it is really for the sake of carrying out terroristic operations and killing peaceful civilians.”

It further called for faithfulness to state-controlled Al-Azhar’s moderate approach to rectify the misconceptions, in addition to calling on the intellectual forces to confront radical thought.

In the same vein, the Ministry of Religious Endowments took new steps to prevent mosques from being used as political pulpits for provoking sectarianism last February.

The Ministry of Religious Endowments announced that it would hold social dialogue seminars in several mosques nationwide to counter takfirist thought, which legitimizes the designation of some Muslims as apostates by other Muslims.

In addition, the ministry announced that it would counter “radical Islamist groups that misuse religion to combat their political rivals,”   according to the Minister of Endowment Mokhtar Goma’s statement on Feb. 7.

Further, 55,000 imams were dismissed by the ministry, many of whom had not matriculated from Al-Azhar University, while some had been accused of spreading religious extremism, AFP reported.

Additionally, on Jan. 26, Gomaa issued a decision to unify the topics of Friday sermons, to distance the mosques from politics.

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