When Will the World’s Largest Sunni Religious Institution Disavow Colonization?, by Saied Shoaaib (Gatestone Inst.)

Feb. 13, 2019

  • It is difficult to find today Christian clergy proud of their colonial past. In contrast, many Muslims consider Islamic colonialism and imperialism sacred and part of their religion.
  • To be sure, the West has committed sins, but it has apologized for them. Meanwhile, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the current Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, says that Islam and Muslims are completely innocent, and that the sole culprit is the West. His position totally ignores the Islamic colonial empire that occupied many countries, looting their wealth and committing massacres.
  • Sheikh Al-Tayeb not only failed to apologize for the atrocities listed above, but here are a few examples of what is being taught at the university he heads…

In Cairo, Egypt, in October, at an international symposium entitled, “Islam and the West: Diversity and Integration,” Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb — the current Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University, the world’s largest Sunni religious institution — pointed to Andalusia (Muslim-ruled Spain) as a model for the peaceful coexistence between Islam, Christianity and Judaism. It was a peculiar choice: Andalusia is not an example of cooperation; it is an example of the Arab colonization of Europe.

Those who occupied Andalusia were the Umayyad branch of the Quraysh tribe (the tribe of the Prophet Muhammad) from the Arabian Peninsula. They initiated the invasion; the Ottoman Turks followed to conquer European lands, including Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, Montenegro, Croatia, Kosovo, Hungary, Albania, Georgia and the Balkans. They nearly occupied Paris and Vienna, as well.

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