Egypt’s religious institutions condemn Brussels attack
Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam - YOUM7/Dina Romeiah

CAIRO: At the Luxembourg headquarters of the European Parliament Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam condemned Tuesday the series of terror attacks targeted Brussels and claimed the lives of tens of people, Egypt’s, according to a statement issued from Dar al Iftaa, a Sunni Islamic body concerned with issuing fatwas (Islamic decisions).

Islamic religious scholars have “dedicated themselves to spread the true image of Islam to the whole world as extremist group exploit and misinterpret the fatwas as justifications to their crimes to incite chaos and to achieve their personal gains,” said Allam.

“”I know it’s not enough to say that Islam is a religion of peace, but we must take concrete steps to close the door in front of those few deviants” he said.

The Brussels Airport and a metro station were targeted Tuesday by four explosions, killing more than 15people and injuring 55 others at least, AP reported Belgium’s transit authority spokesperson Guy Sablon. European states are on alert; France has closed its borders with Belgium while all flights to Brussels were canceled and metro movements were suspended.

None has claimed its responsibility for the attacks yet.

Allam noted that the main problem the people faces boils down to the “right reference” as several people go to unqualified religious authorities to know the teachings of their religions, saying “that direction (unauthorized reference) led to the opening of the door to extremist and baseless interpretations of Islam. None of those extremists studied Islam in any of reliable religious institutes.”

Allam added that Dar al Iftaa has established a monitoring center that aims to “rectify” misinterpreted fatwas and opinions that have been released by extremists such as Islamic States group (IS). The organization has also launched several online sites in different languages to spread the “right” teachings to the whole world.

Allam is visiting Luxembourg to attend meetings of the foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament to discuss interreligious and intercultural dialogue, according to a statement from the EP Monday.

Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb also “strongly deplored” the Brussels attacks “that are disavowed by Islam and all Abrahamic religions,” offering his condolences to victims’ relatives and families and to Belgium’s people and government, the Azhar Sheikhdom said in a statement Tuesday.

In November 2015, a series of terrorist attacks committed by eight suicide bombers at the Stade De France and the Bataclan concert hall at Paris, killing at least 127 people Friday evening. The IS group announced its responsibility for these attacks.

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