Islam’s greatest university clutches pearls when archbishop says Muslims are ‘people of war‘
Al Azhar, the Muslim world’s most prestigious if not authoritative Islamic university, recently blasted Jerome, the archbishop of Athens and all Greece, for saying during a January 14 interview that:
“Islam, its people, is not a religion but a political party” — that Muslims are “the people of war … who seek expansion,” which is a “characteristic of Islam.”
Instead of replying with outrage and accusations of “Islamophobia” — as Turkey and other nations did, on January 19, the Observatory, a branch of Al Azhar, denounced “these irresponsible statements by the archbishop of Athens,” adding that they are “merely farcical and empty claims — trivialities unworthy of responding to or discussing.”
Why? Because, continued Al Azhar, “Islam is the final, heavenly message that Allah Almighty sent to our master Muhammad, the seal of the prophets and apostles, to bring humanity from out of the darkness and clutches of ignorance and into the light of truth and the sun of guidance.”
To anyone unconvinced by this hagiographic explanation, Al Azhar continued:
Accusing Muslims of being people of war and expansion is a pure lie — a fraud and falsification of Muslim history, which is replete with forgiveness and pardon[.] … The Prophet’s invasions were either in defense of Muslims or to discipline those who reneged on their pacts[.] … [Islamic history] is inconsistent with the claim that Muslims want to expand!
Indeed, the only thing consistent here is Al Azhar’s denial of the militant, expansionist history of Islam. For example, on April 30, 2020, during his televised program, which is watched by millions in Egypt and the Arab world, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb — Al Azhar’s grand imam and Pope Francis’s close ally — declared that “Islam doesn’t seek war or bloodshed, and Muslims only fight back to defend themselves.”
This somewhat surreal claim was even the grand conclusion reached at — and therefore making a mockery of — a recent mega-conference dedicated to finding solutions to “extremism.” Hosted in Egypt by Al Azhar, and attended by leading representatives from 46 Muslim nations, al-Tayeb capped off the two-day conference by again declaring:
Jihad in Islam is not synonymous with fighting; rather, the fighting practiced by Prophet Muhammad and his companions is one of its types; and it is to ward off the aggression of the aggressors against Muslims, as opposed to killing those who offend in [matters of] religion, as the extremists claim. The established sharia rule in Islam bans antagonism for those who oppose the religion. Fighting them is forbidden — as long as they do not fight Muslims.
Needless to say, such claims fly in the face of more than a millennium of well documented Islamic history.
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