At his residence in Berlin - Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders receives Bishop of Augsburg and a delegation from Arigatou International
Grand Imam, during his reception of the Bishop of Augsburg: The Document on Human Fraternity is fertile ground for purposeful artistic works
Bishop of Augsburg: The world today needs the wisdom of the Grand Imam and the voice of Al-Azhar is heard and influential around the world
Arigatou International invites Grand Imam to participate in the organization's sixth International Forum ‘Together for Children’
His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, met with Bishop Bertram Meier of Augsburg on Monday in Berlin, Germany. During the meeting, the Grand Imam that his participation in the International Peace Forum, organized by the Community of Sant'Egidio in Berlin, reflects Al-Azhar's and the Muslim Council of Elders' commitment to continued dialogue between people of different faiths and to opening new channels of communication.
The Grand Imam added that a culture of openness and dialogue between people of different faiths is the way to let the world hear the voice of religion, which is the only voice that can save humanity from its contemporary crises and suffering. He stressed that excluding religion from people's lives will only lead to more intolerance and hatred.
His Eminence also noted that the historic Document on Human Fraternity, which he co-signed with Pope Francis, came at a difficult time when the voices of extremism were rising on both sides. He said that the signing of the document marked the beginning of a new era of cooperation and collaboration to promote peace, fraternity, and coexistence.
For his part, Bishop Meier expressed his happiness at meeting the Grand Imam and at following His Eminence’s efforts to promote global peace. He said that the world truly needs Al-Tayeb's wisdom today, and that Al-Azhar's voice is heard and influential around the world, especially in Europe. He also stressed that the cooperation and coordination between religious institutions strengthens the voice of religion in the face of extremist voices that try to hijack it.
Bishop Meier also noted that the Document on Human Fraternity has paved the way for people of different faiths to strengthen communication and rapprochement after long periods of isolation and stagnation. He said that these efforts would not have been possible without the dedication of the Grand Imam and Pope Francis, who have faithfully set an example in terms of working for humanity.
The Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders also received a delegation from the Arigatou International Foundation headed by its President Rev. Dr. Takeyasu Miyamoto and Dr. Mustafa Yousuf Ali, the Secretary-General of the Global Network of Religions for Children. The delegation extended an invitation to His Eminence to participate in the Executive Committee of the organization's sixth International Forum, themed ‘Together for Children’. The forum will be attended by over 600 religious figures from around the world and is set to be held in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi.
His Eminence expressed his deep appreciation for all institutions dedicated to protecting and upholding the full rights of children but also highlighted that emerging global trend seeks to undermine the fundamental concept of marriage and dismantle the family system, with a particular focus on young children. His Eminence also emphasized that if we fail to recognize the perils of these trends, we could unwittingly, be complicit in the grave injustice committed against our children – who, after all, represent the future generations.
For his part, Rev. Takeyasu Miyamoto conveyed his profound appreciation for the tireless efforts of His Eminence the Grand Imam in raising awareness about the rights of children. He underscored the organization's fervent desire to have the Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, participate in the sixth edition of the organization's International Forum, themed ‘Together for Children’ which will be held for the first time in an Arab country, the United Arab Emirates. The forum aims to articulate the accurate Islamic position on safeguarding children and staunchly countering extremist groups that exploit children, placing them at the forefront of conflicts and wars.