Al-Sisi calls on Islamic states to work together against terrorism

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stressed it is unacceptable to blame Muslims for terrorism, calling on all Islamic states to work together against the problem, Egypt’s Ahram Online reported Saturday (June 1st).

"Let us state it clearly, it is unacceptable… to try to pin terrorism and extremism on our noble religion, which is innocent [of them]," al-Sisi said at the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) meeting in Mecca on Friday night.

Al-Sisi said the OIC has a dual mission: to combat Islamophobia, including discrimination and hate speech against Muslims; and to fight terrorism and extremist speech by those who exploit religion and defame its tolerant teaching.

He said terrorism is the top challenge faced by Muslim nations, and by the world.

"Egypt has taken the initiative through calling on all to intensify efforts to eliminate this phenomenon completely, and refuse to connect it with a specific religion, culture or a particular race," he said.

Tackling it requires efforts from all Islamic states to activate international and regional mechanisms to fight it, he said, noting that Egypt will spare no effort to support and boost the OIC as a main umbrella for Islamic work in various fields.

Egypt is keen to participate in OIC initiatives in the belief that the scale of challenges faced by the Muslim world call for unity and a unified voice, he said.

In a speech during a religious ceremony on Sunday, al-Sisi also reaffirmed the importance of having balanced religious discourse in confronting extremism and radical ideology.

He hailed scholars of Al-Azhar for their efforts in correcting religious misconceptions, addressing intellectual extremism, and spreading the correct ideals in the face of an upsurge in radicalism and extremism.

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