Al-Azhar condemns mosques arson in Sweden
Egypt's Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam - YOUM7/Sami Wahib

CAIRO: Recent arson attacks against mosques in Sweden contradict all religions that promote tolerance and peaceful coexistence, Al-Azhar said in a Tuesday statement, calling on the Swedish authorities to bring perpetrators to justice.

Al-Azhar, the most prestigious Sunni institution in the Islamic world, strongly condemned two arson attacks against mosques in the Scandinavian country that wounded five people on Dec. 25 and 29.

Swedish special security forces are pursuing suspected arsonists, The Guardian reported. The attacks in Sweden coincide with Germany’s recent anti-Islam and anti-migrants waves of protests that had attracted thousands.

In a public speech Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel urged the German citizens not to take part in such protests as they discriminate against people “because of the color of [their] skin or [their] religion,” Reuters reported.

Merkel accused the organizers of the demonstrations of harboring “prejudice, coldness, even hatred, in their hearts.”

Earlier in December, Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawky Allam had also slammed the siege of dozens of Australians in a Sydney café by an Islamist, saying that “Muslims respect law and do not condone terrorist acts.”

Dar Al-Ifta, an Islamic institution tasked with issuing fatwas (legal opinions), has embarked on several campaigns to both “correct” the image of Islam and teach Muslim youth the “true teachings” of their religion to curb their recruitment by radical groups.

On Dec. 26, Dar Al-Ifta launched an international campaign to introduce the “mercy” of the character of Prophet Mohamed. Minister of Endowment Mohamed Mukhtar said in a Wednesday statement that it plans to “renew the religious discourse” and the themes of religious sermons.

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