International Diplomat Magazine

Grand Imam of Al-Azhar meets Tony Blair


(London) – Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, met Tony Blair, former prime minister of Britain and Chairman of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, at his residence in London.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Grand Imam expressed the hope that the meeting would be a step further in consolidating the cooperation between Al-Azhar and Britain in support of the values of peace, dialogue and coexistence.
He pointed out that there is a similarity in the visions concerning the need for confronting terrorism and countering extremism, especially since the West is no longer immune from terrorist acts; thus, concerted efforts are required from all parties.
The Grand Imam further mentioned that Al-Azhar has established an observatory for combating extremism, and that, every year, it receives hundreds of imams from all over the world to train them to counter extremist ideology and provide them with the values of moderation upheld by Al-Azhar.
Expressing his happiness on meeting the Grand Imam, Blair pointed out that Al-Azhar enjoys a great status, not only among Muslims, but in the whole world, as it is the first reference of the Muslim world, and the message that it delivers is very essential.
He said Al-Azhar represents true Islam and that is very necessary due to the current loud voice of the extremists. Blair also showed that Al-Azhar has a unique potential in confronting terrorism.
The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar arrived last Thursday in Britain for a several-day visit to participate in the “Emerging Peacemakers Forum” organised by Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, in cooperation with the Muslim Council of Elders and the Archbishop of Canterbury.