Cairo-based Al-Azhar institution, the leading center of religious learning and supreme source of religious authority in the Sunni Muslim world, have voiced its support for Hamas and inciting against the United States and Israel, while using virulently antisemitic rhetoric.
A recently issued fatwa (religious ruling) by Al-Azhar praised the Palestinian resistance and called on Israeli Arabs to join the struggle against Israel, saying that this country is destined to perish. Senior Al-Azhar clerics, including Muhammad Omar Al-Qady, dean of the Faculty for Islamic and Arabic Studies at Al-Azhar University, and Abbas Shuman, former deputy of Sheikh Al-Azhar and currently the inspector general of the institute’s fatwa committees, incited against Israel and made antisemitic remarks, calling the Jews “descendants of apes and pigs,” “killers of the prophets” and “enemies of humanity” and hoping for their perdition. Al-Qady also directed his invective at the U.S., calling it the “greatest Satan” and a “mafia” state with a “drunken” president.
These statements are part of the unreserved support for Hamas that has been voiced by Al-Azhar since the October 7 terror attack in southern Israel, in which over 1,400 Israelis were killed and about 240 others kidnapped.
In a statement it issued on the day after the attack, Al-Azhar “saluted” Hamas’ massacre, and in subsequent statements it claimed that the media coverage of the attack was fraudulent and that supporting the Palestinians with money, resources and gear is a “religious duty,” MEMRI TV reports.