On December 2, Tabnak, a news website, filed a report about an official invitation extended by Grand Imam of al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed Muhammad Ahmed al-Tayeb to Hojatoleslam Ahmad Mobaleghi, an Iranian scholar, to give a speech at an anti-terrorism conference scheduled for December 2014 in Egypt.
The gathering is intended to study the fight against terrorism and extremism with the accent on the role of scholars and religious entities in countering destructive thoughts. What appears below is the translation of the report on the website:
Sending an official letter of invitation to Hojatoleslam Ahmad Mobaleghi, Sheik Ahmed al-Tayeb, the former President of al-Azhar University said, “Given your remarkable efforts to spread the spirit of consensus and understanding among followers of different Islamic sects, it is a pleasure for Egypt’s al-Azhar to invite you to a conference on the fight against terrorism and extremism.”
Hojatoleslam Ahmad Mobaleghi, a distinguished lecturer at Qom Seminary is to attend the two-day international gathering opening on December 3 in Cairo and make a speech entitled ‘Respect for difference, diversity and coexistence’.
The conference is designed to redefine some concepts, including those of ‘Islamic governance’, ‘caliphate’, ‘rule’, ‘jihad’, ‘ignorance’ and ‘Takfir [excommunication]’ which have been distorted by extremists. Extremism and factors contributing to its spread are to be discussed at the gathering as well.
In attendance will also be senior figures from different countries across the world, some elite Al-Azhar pundits, Islamic world scholars, Christian leaders from churches in the East and the West, and representatives of different religions.
The international gathering in Cairo follows the Global Conference of Muslim Scholars’ View on Takfiri and Extremist Currents in Qom, central Iran, in late November organized by Grand Ayatollahs Makarem Shirazi and Jafar Sobhani.