by Muslim Mirror Staff
A demonstration was organized by students of Aligarh Muslim University on May 2, opposing the scheduled visit of Dr. Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam, who is the Grand Mufti of Egypt.
The students assembled in the Library Canteen area, holding placards which read, “Mufti of Oppression not welcome in AMU”.
A student’s group in the campus, the Aligarh Dialogues, said that the visit was protested as “the bloody ‘Grand Mufti’ of Egypt has given death sentences to hundreds of innocent people.”
The group cited an Amnesty International report and said, “Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam has ratified hundreds of death sentences since his appointment as Egypt’s grand mufti in 2013, the year that Abdel Fattah el-Sisi toppled the late President Mohamed Morsi in a military coup.”
“Morsi, affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, died while in custody in June 2019 in circumstances described by UN experts as ‘state-sanctioned arbitrary killing’. Allam ratified the death sentence against Morsi,” the group said.
The Grand Mufti of the Arab Republic of Egypt Dr. Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam visited the university on May 2. The one-day AMU visit of the Grand Mufti of Egypt was a part of his state visit to India hosted by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.
Dr. Shawki in his address at the University said, “There is a need to grasp and understand the true spirit of Islam that is engaging and dealing with people of all faiths, civilizations and philosophies by seeking common grounds and recognizing the diversities and differences which are divine gift and blessing from the God.”
Delivering his speech on ‘Dialogue among Civilisations’, Dr. Shawki said “building bridges and engaging with followers of different faiths has been the practice of the Prophet Mohammad until he passed away at the age of 63. The Prophet sent his companions to Abyssinia which was predominantly a Christian land and in Medina he signed an agreement known as the ‘Constitution of Medina’ in which he set the rules of engagement with Jewish clans and other residents of the city”.
Quoting from the Quran, the Grand Mufti of Egypt said that Prophet Mohammad was an epitome of mercy and compassion and he is a role model particularly for Muslims in respect to their conduct and behaviour towards neighbours, friends, relatives and humanity at large.
Warning Muslims against the ‘crooked understanding of faith’ he said “it is our shared responsibility to re-claim Islam from those who interpret it in the wrong way; and become ambassadors of peace and bridge building in the world”.
Dr. Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam expressed his gratitude for being invited to AMU. “Established by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, a great visionary, this institution is historic and it has a role to play in peace-building measures”, he pointed out.