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Al Azhar University praises Pope for defending religion

September 20, 2012

A spokesman for Egypt’s Al Azhar University has praised Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican for their statements defending the dignity of religious faith.

Mahmoud Azab of Al Azhar singled out the initial Vatican response to the unrest and Libya and Egypt following the release of the film, “Innocence of Muslims.” That statement, condemning deliberate provocations against religious believers, was a sign of respect for all faiths, the Islamic spokesman said.

Azab said that Muslims should show a similar respect for Christian beliefs, and condemned the action of an Egyptian man who tore up a Bible during a recent public protest.

Al Azhar University, the leading academic institution in the Islamic world, has often engaged in dialogue with the Holy See. But the Egyptian university broke off talks with the Vatican amid the protests following Pope Benedict’s Regensburg address. Azab said that the possible resumption of talks with the Vatican was a separate topic.


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  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Sep. 20, 2012 2:33 PM ET USA

    This was an enormously courageous statement from Dr. (I presume) Azab. It is not a propitious time for people of any religion to talk good sense. Thank God for him and for Pope Benedict.