Egypt’s Al-Azhar slams attacks on churches in eastern Pakistan

Egypt’s Al-Azhar, the highest seat of Sunni Islamic learning, on Thursday denounced attacks on churches in eastern Pakistan, affirming its categorical rejection of the “reprehensible” crimes.

Al-Azhar stressed the need to prosecute all extremists who attack the Holy Qur’an, churches and places of worship. It urged the need to take legislative, legal and security measures that guarantee the protection of the sanctities of peoples and their places of worship in a manner that guarantees that they will not be subjected to any kind of attacks that stir up sedition and feed currents of fanaticism and hatred.

It urged everyone to resort to the “voice of reason”, the “language of dialogue,” and to return to the tolerance of heavenly laws that call for the acceptance of the other, and seek to spread tolerance and human brotherhood among human beings.

Violent mobs attacked churches and the homes of Christian residents in eastern Pakistan after a Christian man was accused of desecrating Islam’s holy book.

The attacks occurred after Muslims living in the area claimed they saw a local Christian and his friend tearing out pages from a Quran, throwing them on the ground and writing insulting remarks on other pages.

A group demolished the man’s house and damaged churches. The homes of other Christians were also targeted.

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