Al-Azhar delegation to partake in French Islamic studies Conference
Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed el-Tayeb - YOUM7/Sami Waheeb

CAIRO: An Al-Azhar delegation will participate in an international conference at France’s Strasbourg University Tuesday-Wednesday on teaching Islamic studies.

The conference will discuss mechanisms to teach Islamic studies at a university degree; it will be attended by university professors from France, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Belgium and the Netherlands, according to a Monday statement by Al-Azhar.

Al-Azhar’s delegation includes Abdel Fattah al-Awary, dean of the Faculty of Theology, Osama Nabil, head of the French department at the Faculty of Languages and Translation and the supervisor of Al-Azhar’s Observatory, and Mohamed Mehanna, member of the technical office of Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam.

The conference will also be attended by Éric Geoffroy, an Islamologist and professor of Sufism at Strasbourg and Pierre Lory, the studies director of the École Pratique des Hautes Études, who will speak about challenges facing religions, the statement said.

After the deadly attacks on Paris Nov. 13, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced Sunday that the dissolution of radical mosques in France will be discussed by the Cabinet, Le Figaro reported.

Hours before the attacks, Adviser to Egypt’s Grand Mufti Ibrahim Negm delivered a speech at the European Parliament (EP) and agreed to translate reports issued by Dar al-Iftaa’s observatory, founded to refute fatwas of extremist groups in a scientific fashion, according to a statement by Negm.

During a meeting with the EP’s Muslim member Sajjad Karim, Negm agreed to provide the EP with 1,000 official fatwas translated into English, French and German that consider the conditions of Europe’s Muslim community.

The possibility of training European imams in the field of countering extremism was also discussed in the meeting.

The EP will adopt Egypt’s Dar al-Iftaa, which is affiliated with Al-Azhar, as a reference for Islamic Fatwas, according to Negm’s statement.

In his speech at the EP, Negm called for exerting more efforts to prevent insults to Islam in Europe or inciting hatred towards Muslims.

Islamophobia damages the interests of western societies because it fuels hate, threatens societal peace and promotes extremism, he said, adding that Europe’s Muslims are part of the fabric of the European society.

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