Why the Sheikh of Al Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb did not attend the Unity Conference in Tehran while calling for Muslim unity?
The Shaykh of al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb called at the end of 2014 on Shi‘i ‘ulama in Iran and Iraq to issue clear fatwas forbidding insults to Sunni figures and their sanctities. He said Muslim scholars should “avoid strife between Sunnis and Shi‘is as it is tearing the Ummah apart and preventing consensus and dialogue between them.”
While prominent Shi‘i scholars including the Leader of Iran, Imam Seyyed Ali Khamenei and Ayatullah Ali Sistani of Iraq have on numerous occasions issued fatwas forbidding such insults, Shaykh el-Tayeb declined an invitation to attend the Islamic Unity Conference in Tehran (January 7–9) to promote just such dialogue.
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