Press Shia Agency – “We’re here to represent al-Azhar in the International Islamic unity conference in Tehran. We must say that al-Azhar still continues on its path of boosting Islamic unity and we hope that current problems regarding this issue will soon be resolved,” said Dr. Ayman Yaqoub.
Press Shia – Dr. Ayman Yaqoub, the head of the Bab al-Ilm Islamic Centre in Birmingham, United Kingdom, met with Ayatollah Jafar Sobhani, a senior Shi’ah scholar in Qom, on Monday, December 20.
During the meeting, the Egyptian Sunni scholar asserted, “Since its foundation, al-Azhar University has been a pioneer in approximating religions and shares the same path and ideology with Iranian scholars. our thoughts and doctrine in al-Azhar have not changed.”
He went on, “As you probably know, the organizers of the International Islamic Unity Conference invited the Grand Shaykh of al-Azhar to the event as he was willing to attend the conference. Other scholars and officials of al-Azhar also wanted him to take part in the event, but there are some restrictions on them for making such decisions including current political considerations in Egypt. The role of politics on the ties between Tehran and al-Azhar has been destructive as I’m sure you are quite aware of this situation.”
“We share the same ideas in terms of religious approximation between Islamic schools of thought. this has not changed at all. That’s why we’re here and participated in the conference to represent al-Azhar in the Islamic Unity conference,” Dr. Yaqoub said.
“We’re here to announce that al-Azhar is still committed to work for the path of Islamic unity and we hope that together we manage to overcome the existing challenges and obstacles towards reaching unity. We also hope that al-Azhar returns to its rightful place in approximating religious sects and the interactions between our scholars are promoted in future,” the head of the UK’s Bab al-Ilm Centre added.
“We’re hoping for a brighter future to usher in a new era of international cooperation among Islamic communities,” Dr. Yaqoub concluded.