Stock Groups

Sunni scholars who left Afghanistan hope Islam’s tolerant message survives Taliban By Reuters


© Reuters. Shawki Abuzeid (Egyptian cleric, head of Al-Azhar mission to Afghanistan), speaks in an interview with Reuters, Cairo, Egypt on August 29, 2021. Picture taken August 29, 2021. REUTERS/Sayed Sheasha

By Mahmoud Mourad

CAIRO (Reuters) – Clerics from Egypt’s ancient seat of Sunni study Al-Azhar, who spent years teaching in Afghanistan and were planning to open an education centre for girls, hope their tolerant message of Islam will survive the return of the Taliban.

The 1,‮0‬00 year-old institution had opened a mission in Kabul in 2007, promoting what its clerics describe as Islam’s peaceful tradition in a country where guerrillas have used religion as a justification for fighting for decades.

After being temporarily stranded at Kabul by the Taliban last month, the 23-member mission was eventually repatriated back to Egypt.

Shawki Abuzeid (58), the head of Al-Azhar, stated that there must be an Al-Azhar presence in Afghanistan in order to reach the Afghan youth and communicate Islam’s tolerance message.

Al-Azhar has hosted 700 Afghan men in Kabul. Since then, many have continued religious and Arabic studies at Al-Azhar university. They also provided commentary for Afghan media and gave sermons and lectures.

It was in the process of opening a brand-new education centre for girls. Abuzeid expressed optimism that the Taliban would fulfill their promise to allow girls and women to study.

The Taliban come from Afghanistan’s fabric. As I have heard through the media, as well as from my contacts with university heads and professors, their thinking has changed. They now value women and promise to educate them in accordance with Islamic law.

The approval of Egypt’s leadership would be required for any return of the mission. Al-Azhar’s Islamic Research Academy spokesperson Mohamed Wardany said that the scholarship Al-Azhar imparts “doesn’t change with any change in system or ruler.”

He said that Al-Azhar’s heritage is something that is handed down generation after generation. It isn’t just transient information, but also a way to think.

    Al-Azhar will not oppose its return if there is stability, the Taliban abandons its ideas and stability is restored by the popular will.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. CFDs are stocks, indexes or futures. The prices of Forex and CFDs are not supplied by exchanges. Instead, they are determined by marketmakers. As such, the prices might not reflect market conditions and could be incorrect. Fusion Media does not accept any liability for trade losses you may incur due to the use of these data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. You should be aware of all the potential risks and expenses associated with trading in the financial market. It is among the most dangerous investment types.