Dods EU Briefing: State of play on Egypt, Syria and Iraq

EP AFET committee holds an exchange of views with the Grand Mufti of Egypt.

By Dods EU monitoring

09 Sep 2014

Please note that this does not constitute a formal record of the proceedings of the meeting. It is dependent on interpretation and acts as an unofficial summary of the debate.

On September 8 2014, the AFET Committee held an exchange of views with the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Dr Shawqy Ibrahim Abdul Kareem Allam, on the situation in Egypt and the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS). Please find below an overview of the debate.

Javier Couso Permuy (GUE/NGL, ES), Vice-Chair of the Committee, introduced the Egyptian Mufti. He said that Dr Allam is a doctor in Islamic Law and case-law. Mr Couso noted that the Egyptian Mufti had previously affirmed that terrorism is against Islam and that groups such as Al Qaida or ISIS are corrupted and a threat to Muslims. However, he was concerned about the death penalties and severe punishments issued against Muslim Brothers and activists in Egypt.

Shawqy Ibrahim Abdul Kareem Allam, the Grand Mufti of Egypt took the floor to say that several states are now victims of terrorist extremists. The underlying problem, he added, was that Islam needed to reconcile the religious reality and the modern world. This reconciliation is not easy and has been discussed since the XIX Century.

The Egyptian Mufti explained that in Egypt they are trying to build bridges between those two realities and that they condemn all forms of terrorism. In order to change the world, he continued, the West and the East need to take action to get closer together. In relation to ISIS, the Grand Mufti argued that their activities are alien to Islam. Moreover, he called on the NGOs and mass media to intensify the efforts to show the real Islam. Once this is done, the terrorist minorities will be sidelined. For him, the right path is to promote exchanges within the youth. In this way, Dr Allam said, radicalism will be prevented.

Finally, he made reference to the West-East relations. In his opinion, they need to be more balanced and the rule of law must apply equally to everyone.

Christian Dan Preda (EPP, RO) was satisfied with the condemnations of the Grand Mufti. However, he was concerned about the death penalty in Egypt. Mr Preda was also concerned about the process against Mohamed Morsi.

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