Egypt and Sri Lanka on the same page in combatting extremism: Embassy

Thursday, 18 June 2020 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in a statement expressed concern over electronic media reports of the first evidence given by Prelate Ven. Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara Thero before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Easter Sunday attacks on 13 June 2020, where Egypt has been wrongly associated with the name of the Qatari citizen, fundamentalist theologian and hate preacher Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.

In this regard, the Embassy wishes to enlighten the Sri Lankan media and public opinion on a set of facts and clarifications. Al-Qaradawi has been residing in Qatar since the 1960s and holds the Qatari citizenship only. Being one of the fountainheads of the banned terrorist Muslim Brotherhood organisation, fanning religious hatred and promoting a cult of violence, Al-Qaradawi has been stripped of Egyptian citizenship, banned from Egypt decades ago, and escaped a life sentence in absentia issued by Egyptian courts of law. Charges against him include the implementation of acts of terrorism and violence inside Egypt that resulted in the loss of dozens of lives, the preparation of terrorist schemes in cooperation with the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, embracing extremist Takfiri ideas, conspiring against the Egyptian people to perpetuate chaos and undermining the national security of Egypt. His name appears on the terror list of Egypt and several other peace-loving countries. It is deplorable that he remains unchecked by his host country and continues to receive support and sponsorship. Egypt and other Arab countries have collectively designated 59 individuals and 12 institutions that have financed terrorist organisations and received support from certain countries in the region, including Al-Qaradawi and his so called “International Union of Muslim Scholars”. Along the same line, Al-Azhar, Egypt’s prestigious seat of enlightened Islamic education, has expelled Al- Qaradawi long ago, considering him an incendiary extremist ideologue. Al-Azhar and its renowned Observatory for Combating Extremism have been in the forefront of countering extremist ideologies and practices and rejecting acts of religious violence worldwide. Al-Azhar has condemned in the strongest terms the heinous Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka and expressed its full solidarity with the Sri Lankan government and people. Al-Azhar Sri Lankan graduates have previously confronted and refuted the extremist ideas of the National Tawheed Jamaat leaders in Sri Lanka on several occasions prior to the Easter Sunday attacks, one of which has been highlighted in the Sri Lankan press (see Daily Mirror edition of 27 April 2019). It is worth mentioning that several Muslim and non-Muslim countries have approached Al-Azhar for assistance in modernising education and confronting Islamic extremism, including Christian- Buddhist- and Hindu-majority countries.

Egypt and its enlightened institutions will continue providing support to Sri Lanka in eradicating extremism. Both countries are facing the same threats and confronting the same enemy.