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Azhar criticizes calls for unified ‘Abrahamic religion’

Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, the top religious institution for Sunni Islam, rejected calls to form a doctrinal entity that brings together the three monotheistic religions – Islam – Christianity – Judaism – under a unified “Abrahamic Religion”, and the associated construction of a mosque, church and temple in one surrounding.

Al-Azhar announced on Saturday its explicit disavowal of any calls for the merger of the three monotheistic religions.

The General Secretariat of the Islamic Research Academy in Al-Azhar Al-Sharif issued a statement regarding calls to form a unified “Abrahamic religion” for a quick entry point for human cooperation and to eliminate conflict.

The statement said that these calls are a threat to religion and the world together, pointing out that the difference people’s beliefs and orientations is a natural instinct that God created people with, and that if God had willed to create them in one likeness, one tongue, or one belief, he would have created them this way, but God wanted people to have freedom of will.

Freedom of belief does not prevent human communication with followers of other religions and cooperation with them on righteousness and piety because they are people of faith, and dealing with them on the basis of justice and mutual respect is what Islam calls for, the statement stressed.

It added that it is not permissible to confuse respect for the beliefs of others with belief in them, because that confusion will lead to corruption of religions and encroachment on the greatest value God has guaranteed to man, which is freedom of belief.

It continued that this call for a unified faith also contradicts what was stated in the holy Quran and the noble Sunnah of the Prophet Mohamed, and what was agreed upon by the scholars of every religion and every sect.

The statement pointed out that Al-Azhar Al-Sharif stresses its openness to religious institutions inside and outside Egypt in search for commonalities between the monotheistic religions.

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