Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb, the leading Egyptian Muslim cleric, who recently suspended dialogue with the Vatican has now announced that he will not Pope Benedict’s inter-religious meeting at Assisi called to publicly reject violence in the name of religion.
Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb said:
‘”These meetings, ultimately, are not bringing any good to Muslims, and they don’t do good to the East but only to the West. And in all the conferences in which we took part in the past, we said clearly that the West is not serious in its way of approaching the nature of Islamic civilization and the civilization of the Middle East and of Easterners. We hold ourselves to our relationship with the Vatican, but we also have the right not to be in agreement with the Vatican and we hope that Benedict XVI, as a religious who appeals for peace, will address a word to Muslims apologizing for the Crusades and acknowledging the richness that the Islamic civilization has contributed to European civilization.’
Protect the Pope comment: Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb is now refusing to stand with Pope Benedict XVI at Assisi in October in a common witness against violence in the name of religion. This leading scholar of the Muslim world seems to be doing everything he can to exacerbate the tensions between Muslims and Christians in the wake of the suicide bomb attack that killed 23 Coptic Christians on Christmas day.
To bring up the complicated issue of the Crusades during this tense period when Jihadists are threatening to kill Christians in Egypt and the Middle East is an utterly irresponsible. Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb is bringing shame on the reputation and integrity of moderate Islam.