Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb said on Thursday that he rejects all attempts at spreading Shiism in Egypt and the Islamic countries, as well as Shia "insults" against Prophet Mohamed’s companions and Sunni figures.
The statement was made during his meeting with a delegation representing the al-Hakeem Institution in Lebanon and some representatives from the Supreme Islamic Council in Iraq.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Al-Azhar said the meeting addressed Al-Azhar’s efforts to reconcile different sects and doctrines in Islam.
Tayyeb said the first obstacle is the feverish attempts to spread the Shia doctrine in Sunni countries, especially in Egypt, home of Al-Azhar, the highest religious authority in the Sunni Muslim world.
“I think there are ulterior motives behind these attempts, which no one would approve of,” said Tayyeb. “Things have evolved a lot, beginning with writings here and there questioning the companion’s faith and then insulting al-Sayeda Aisha, God bless her.”
Tayyeb went on to say that “Al-Azhar has so far controlled itself in order to preserve the unity of Muslims, but if this situation is left unchecked, Al-Azhar has ideological options.”
He added that the second obstacle was the “TV satellite channels devoted to cursing and insulting the companions, may God bless them, lambasting Sunnis, and even claiming the Quran was falsified.”
Translated from the Arabic Edition