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Egypt’s Religious Institutions Call for Fighting 'Hate Speech'

Egypt’s Religious Institutions Call for Fighting 'Hate Speech'

Sunday, 18 October, 2020 - 09:15
People gather in front of the Bois d'Aulne college after the attack in the Paris suburb of Conflans St Honorine, France, October 17, 2020. (Reuters)

Egyptian religious institutions stressed the need to confront hate speech which would ensure the safety of societies and strengthen relations between peoples.

The country's top religious authority, al-Azhar called for the enactment of international laws to criminalize insulting religions and their sacred symbols.

In a statement, al-Azhar described the incident of the beheading of a teacher by an extremist in Bois d'Aulne college in the Paris suburb of Conflans St. Honorine, as a “heinous crime”, stressung that murder is a crime that cannot be justified in any way.

The statement also urged everyone to “respect the beliefs of others, and reject hate speech and violence, regardless of its form, source, or cause."

Dar al-Iftaa also called for the need to adhere to the morals and teachings of religion that affirm respect for the beliefs of others, emphasizing the necessity of activating the laws against hate speech.

For his part, Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawki Allam condemned the recent attack in Paris, saying it is a crime categorically rejected by Islam and cannot be justified, because Islam has called for the protection of human life.

Allam called on the French government not to hold Islam and Muslims responsible for this crime.

“It would be wise to deal with this issue as an individual crime in order not to spread hatred against Muslims,” he noted.

Meanwhile, the Observatory of Islamophobia, affiliated with Dar al-Ifta, warned of a wave of attacks against Muslims and their places of worship in France.

It cautioned that recent events would lead to a wave of violence and counter-violence, unless intervention is made to stop extremism and hatred rhetoric.

The Observatory confirmed, in a statement, that attacking Islam is an extremist act that must be criminalized, and confronted as a first step to prevent terrorist operations.

There is no point in fighting ISIS and terrorist organizations unless extremism and terrorism of the Western-right are fought equally.

According to the Observatory, the world is at stake and extremism is a grave danger to all societies, calling on advocates of peace and coexistence to play their important and vital role in preserving the security of society.

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