Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, UN Chief affirm necessity of halting Israeli War on Gaza

 Egyptian Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Al Tayeb, received on Sunday Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres at al Azhar Sheikhdom. Both sides addressed the ongoing Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, according to a statement released by Al Azhar Sheikhdom.


The meeting was attended by Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Philippe Lazzarini, and UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt Elena Panova.


Al-Azhar Grand Imam appreciated the UN Secretary-General’s fair stances, saying “you represent a glimmer of hope for protecting the oppressed people in Gaza.” He also praised the UNRWA’s role in supporting the Palestinian people.


“The world is moving in the wrong direction without moral controls; if this situation continues, we will see an unprecedented spread of crime, hatred, and acts of violence,” said the Grand Imam, warning against the spillover of this conflict to the Western countries and the US. “We all must unite and stand in solidarity to stop the bloodbath of innocent people,” he continued.


The Grand Imam said that the situation unfolding in Gaza jeopardizes communication endeavors and initiatives aimed at bridging the gap between the East and the West, adding that the international community’s reactions to the aggression on Gaza were frustrating and disappointing.


The UN Chief appreciated Al Azhar’s role as a strong voice defending and supporting the Palestinian people, besides pressuring the international community to respect the rights of the Palestinians.


“I do not remember a more dangerous era than the one we are living in now,” said Guterres, adding that he visited the Rafah crossing on Saturday to send a message of the need to stop the Israeli aggression and for the international community to carry out its duties through decisions and not just words.


“On the other side of the crossing, I saw the Palestinians suffering severely from a shortage of food, drinking and from the spread of various infectious diseases. We must all shed light on this suffering and stop it immediately. It is the responsibility of all of us,” Guterres was quoted as saying in Al Azhar Sheikhdom’ statement.


Guterres continued that the Islamophobia has grown tremendously and became one of the most spread forms of discrimination and hatred, largely because of the use of modern technology, given an example of the ongoing wars in Ukraine, Sudan, Gaza and different parts in Africa.


In appreciation for his courageous stances towards the Palestinians and the fighting Islamophobia, Sheikh Ahmed Al Tayeb gifted the Secretary-General of the United Nations the shield of the Council of Muslim Elders.


In his official X, the UN Chief said: “A major moment of my Ramadan solidarity mission was being received by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al Tayeb in Cairo. His permanent engagement to foster peace & solidarity must be an example to all – now more than ever.”






Egypt Today