• February 1, 2013
  • 10 minutes read

Al-Azhar Initiative to Halt Ongoing Violence in Egypt

Al-Azhar Initiative to Halt Ongoing Violence in Egypt

At the request of Egyptian revolution youth, at the revered Al-Azhar mosque and university, in the name of venerable Al-Azhar National Science Foundation, and in the presence of senior scholars and representatives of Egyptian churches, we the undersigned commit to national patriotic principles and higher values of the Revolution of the twenty-fifth of January, which all those concerned with political life are determined to protect, including thought leaders, heads of political parties and coalitions, and all national spectra, without discrimination or exclusion.

Signatories to this document pledge as follows:

1) The right to life is one of the most fundamental rights guaranteed by all religions and laws. There is no good in any a nation or society that fails to recognize the sanctity of its citizens’ blood, life, dignity, and fair retribution in accordance with the law.

2) Essential distinction must be made between political action and criminal acts of violence and sabotage, with full recognition of the sanctity of blood as well as public and private property.

3) Emphasis must be put on the duty of the state and its security apparatuses to protect all citizens and their constitutional rights and freedoms as well as public and private property, without breaching the law or human rights.

4) Strong denunciation, unequivocal and explicit condemnation and criminalization of violence in all its forms and manifestations, nationally, and religiously.

5) Condemnation of incitement to, justification, promotion, defense or exploitation of violence, in any way.

6) Denunciation of incitement and calls to violence, slander and defamation, spreading rumors, and all forms of moral assassination of public figures and entities, and recognition of these actions as ethical crimes that all parties must renounce.

7) Commitment to peaceful means of political action, and raising Egypt’s youth into a culture of peaceful political discourse.

8) Commitment to serious dialogue among all parties and political groups, especially in times of crisis and conflict, with the purpose of establishing a culture of respect for diversity and pluralism, and achieving consensus for the sake of the homeland. Nations rise with tolerance and forgiveness, and fall with intolerance and division.

9) Protection of the national fabric of the whole society from sectarian strife, whether real or contrived, calls to racism and discrimination, illegal militant groups, illegal foreign intervention, and all that may threaten the safety and security of the nation, the solidarity of its sons and daughters, and the unity of its territory.

10) Protection of the Egyptian state is the responsibility of all parties – the government, opposition, the people, youth, the elderly, political parties, groups, movements and institutions. Everyone will be implicated if political discord leads to the dismantling or weakening of state institutions.

As we declare our faith in these principles, and the culture of democracy, national unity and revolutionary experience they reflect, we call on all politicians, leaders and activists to abide by the same. We must cleanse our political life of all risks and forms of violence, whatever the justifications or slogans.

We call all citizens, rulers and ruled alike, in the farthest corners of upper Egypt and the oases, in the depths of Egypt’s Delta and deserts, and in the Suez Canal and the Sinai, to reconciliation, denouncing violence, and activating dialogue. For serious dialogue is the only way out of all matters of dispute. We must let justice take its course, respect the will of the people, and uphold the rule of law, in order to complete all objectives of the January 25 Revolution.

Signed at Al-Azhar:

January 31, 2013

List of signatories:
1. Abul-Ela Madi, Wasat Party
2. Dr. Ahmed Saeed, Free Egyptians Party
3. Ahmed Maher, Initiative youth
4. Islam Lutfi, Initiative youth
5. Rev. Mounir Hanna, Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Egypt
6. Bishop John Kolta, Deputy Patriarch of Catholic Copts in Egypt
7. Dr. Ayman Nour, Ghadd Althawra Party
8. Pope Tawadros II, Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church
9. Hamdeen Sabbahi, former presidential candidate
10. Dr. Sayed Badawi, Wafd Party
11. Dr. Safwat Bayadi, President of the Anglican Church
12. Mr. Safwat Abdel-Ghani, Gama’a Islamiya
13. Abdul-Rahman Youssef, Initiative youth
14. Dr. Abdel-Moneim Aboul-Fotouh, Strong Egypt Party
15. Dr. Amr Hamzawy, Egypt Freedom Party
16. Amr Moussa, former presidential candidate
17. Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, Constitution Party
18. Mohamed Al-Qassas, Initiative youth
19. Mohamed Anwar Sadat, Reform and Development Party
20. Sheikh Mohamed Hassaan, Muslim Preacher
21. Mohamed Sami, Karama Party
22. Dr. Mohamed Saad Katatni, Freedom and Justice Party
23. Dr. Mahmoud Ezzat, Muslim Brotherhood Vice-Chairman
24. Mustafa Al-Naggar, Initiative youth
25. Nasr Abdul-Salam, Building and Development Party
26. Wael Ghoneim, Initiative youth
27. Walid Abdel-Moneim, Misr Party
28. Younis Makhion, Nour (Light) Party