Al-Azhar Mosque. Courtesy of Al-Azhar website.
In a statement on Wednesday, the world’s leading Sunni Islamic institution noted: “The repetition of such irresponsible statements and similar ones by Western officials, despite their clear negative impact on Muslim citizens in Western societies as recognized by wise individuals in both the East and the West, reflects a huge ignorance of Islam and a denial of its civilization in old and contemporary history."
“It is also an unjustified and deliberate provocation for the sensitivities of Muslims around the world,” added Al-Azhar.
On Friday, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin charged during an interview that "Sunni terrorism is the most significant risk to France and Europe.”
Al-Azhar warned that such statements “are part of a Western terrorism practiced by some Western officials against the civilization of the East and the Civilization of Islam which awakened Europe from the era of darkness and brutality.”
“Al-Azhar also cautions Muslims around the world that these irresponsible statements fuel sectarian conflicts, sow discord among followers of various Islamic schools of thought, and deepen division, strife, and conflict in our Arab and Islamic world,” concluded the statement.