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Muslim Council of Elders hosts seminar on dangers of atheism at the Cairo International Book Fair

The sixth seminar by the Muslim Council of Elders at the Cairo International Book Fair took place at the Council’s stand at the Egypt International Exhibition Center. The seminar was titled 'Atheism and its Dangers to Society' and presented by Dr. Amro Sherif, Professor and Head of the Department of General Surgery at Ain Shams University and Dr. Mohamed Al Mahdi, Professor of Psychiatry at Al-Azhar University.

During the seminar, Dr. Sherif established a distinction between "irreligiosity" and "atheism," stating that while the latter denies the presence of God, the former acknowledges Him while rejecting any form of theological teachings. He also discussed how "atheism" or "irreligiosity" have a negative impact of making people less compassionate and humane. 

He added, “Religions instruct us to live and integrate the body and the soul into our daily lives, which represent the dual nature of the human being. Having stated that, thought and a material mind lead to a material philosophy and a material society, respectively.”

Dr. Sherif also challenged the assertions of some atheists and agnostics who argue that although countries in the Western world have advanced in civilization without religion, those nations that practice it have regressed culturally. He remarked, "The goal of religion is to handle essential concerns outside of the growth of civilization, including the duality of man; his body and soul, and to show us the meaning of life after death. Atheism or irreligion can never account for such insight.”

For his part, Dr. Mohamed Al Mahdi added that religion is essential to humans because it satisfies a number of needs that atheism, irreligiosity, or any other human idea cannot. The roadmap for life, death, and what happens beyond death is only determined by religion. Similar to this, religion is the only source of universally shared moral principles, norms, and behaviors.

Dr. Al Mahdi concluded, “The network of collaboration, compassion, and interdependence that religion fosters among people affords them protection from calamities and disasters, unlike any other human thought. People also benefit from having a sense of togetherness through difficult times, as well as contentment and happiness in the face of all sorts of problems and sorrows. The causes of "atheism" or "irreligiosity" are neither ideological or religious; rather, they are often the outcome of psychological, familial, or social crises that call for treatment.”

The Council’s participation at the Cairo International Book Fair comes as part of His Eminence the Grand Imam’s vision of promoting dialogue and spreading tolerance and peace globally as well as building bridges of cooperation with people of all backgrounds. The Council’s participation at the Cairo International Book Fair is located in Hall 4 next to the Al-Azhar stand at the Egypt International Exhibition Center.


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