Al-Azhar's Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb said Monday that despite Muslims being described “by brutality and violence….they are only victims of terrorism,” explaining that the reasons behind terrorism are not Islam or any other religion, but global regimes that trade religions, and morals for power.
During his speech in the opening of the Al-Azhar’s international symposium under the theme “Islam and the West: Diversity and Integration,” Tayeb added that the eastern civilization respects religion and science regardless of their source.
Tayeb continued that the terrible silence on terrorism enabled armed political movements to link Islam to other terrorist crimes.
In his speech before the attendees, Belgian former Prime Minister Yves Leterme said that the West knows that Islam is devoted to democracy and equality, stressing the importance of dialogue to achieve its goals.
Former president of Montenegro Filip Vujanovic stated that the Islamic culture is based on rejecting violence and on respecting others. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said that believers will work devotedly to lay a common ground through which risks can be faced and peace attained.
The three-day seminar, held at Al-Azhar Conference Center, will discuss a number of topics related to Islam and Europe, including tension between Muslims and others in Europe.