Al Azhar Mosque, part of Al Azhar University. (Photo: shutterstock)

Al Azhar Mosque, part of Al Azhar University. (Photo: shutterstock)

Egyptian President Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi has called for an overhaul of Islamic thinking, decrying the extremism that, he says, is tearing apart the Islamic nation.  

Egyptian President Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi delivered a groundbreaking speech at Al-Azhar University in Cairo in which he bravely stated: “We need to revolutionize our religion.”

Calling for “religious discourse that is in keeping with its times,” Al-Sisi warned that “the Islamic nation is being torn apart and destroyed” by extremism, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reports.

Al-Sisi has been combating Islamic terrorism within his borders. He views terror organizations linked to Islamic State (IS or ISIS) or Hamas as a threat to Egypt’s existence.

Speaking on December 28 at the Islamic university, Al-Sisi stated that “we must take a long, hard look at the situation we are in. It is inconceivable that the ideology we sanctify should make our entire nation a source of concern, danger, killing and destruction all over the world.”

Al-Sisi admits that changing this ideology is not an easy process. “I am referring not to religion, but to ideology – the body of ideas and texts that we have sanctified in the course of centuries, to the point that challenging them has become very difficult,” he explained.

Ideology ‘Hostile to the Entire World’

“It has reached the point that [this ideology] is hostile to the entire world. Is it conceivable that 1.6 billion [Muslims] would kill the world’s population of seven billion, so that they could live [on their own]. This is inconceivable,” al-Sisi declared.

“I say these things here, at Al-Azhar, before religious clerics and scholars,” he continued. “May Allah bear witness on Judgment Day to the truth of your intentions, regarding what I say to you today. You cannot see things clearly when you are locked [in this ideology]. You must emerge from it and look from the outside, in order to get closer to a truly enlightened ideology. You must oppose it with resolve. Let me say it again: We need to revolutionize our religion.”

Al-Azhar, founded more than a thousand years ago, is one of the first universities in the world. It is the chief center of Arabic literature and Islamic study in the world and has a great influence on Islam worldwide. With this in mind, al-Sisi addressed the university’s leading figure, Ahmed el-Tayeb, grand Sheik of Al-Azhar, stating: “Honorable Imam, you bear responsibility before Allah. The world in its entirety awaits your words, because the Islamic nation is being torn apart, destroyed, and is heading to perdition. We ourselves are bringing it to perdition.”

Charlie Hebdo Massacre – Punishment from Allah

Meanwhile, Mostafa Al-Adwy, an Egyptian cleric, said that the Charlie Hebdo massacre was a punishment by Allah against those poking fun at the Prophet Mohammed. “Even though the whole world is crying about what happened to them, we are happy, by God.”

“People mocked the prophets of Allah, but the mockers were punished by Allah for their mockery. It is just like what happened now [in France], Allah be praised…. We are happy that Allah wreaked vengeance upon the mockers of our Prophet Muhammad.”

By: Aryeh Savir
Staff Writer, United with Israel

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