The Muslim Council of Elders, headed by Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb, is convening Saturday to discuss the latest developments in the Arab and Muslim regions.
Council members are also scheduled to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi following the meeting.
The council, which consists of a group of Islamic scholars and experts, will discuss the launching of the second phase of its “peace caravans” to several countries across the globe.
The caravans aim to address misconceptions about Islam and promote the values of peace and coexistence through workshops and lectures organised by Azharite scholars, who speak the language of the country in which the activities are held.
The first phase, held during the holy month of Ramadan in 2015, had reportedly “reaped success” as the caravans were dispatched to the US, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Pakistan, and other countries.
In his opening speech, Al-Tayeb expressed his grief and voiced condolences for all societies who were plagued by terrorist attacks in recent weeks: “Terrorism is, first and foremost, a belief and an ideology held by those who inflict it. However, it is an intellectual and mental ailment, always searching for a justification in religious texts”.
Somali Minister of Endowments Abdel Qader Ibrahim is among the attendees of the council’s meeting. Al-Tayeb addressed the enduring crisis in Somalia and expressed his willingness to begin efforts to address the issue through the council.
Established in July 2014, the council aims to promote peace and stability in Muslim societies and protect against factors leading to conflicts and division.