Arab and Muslim leaders are keenly aware, more than most others, of the profoundly destructive effect of Islamist radicalism and the unprecedented eruption of violence in the name of Islam that is sowing havoc throughout the Middle East. This dramatically exacerbated sectarian regional confrontations, including the Arab-Israeli conflict, and rendered a peaceful solution immeasurably more difficult. Here are how two Muslim leaders have responded.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah as-Sisi, the general who deposed the Muslim Brotherhood regime, discussed this danger very candidly in Dec. 22, 2014.
In a speech at the Counter-Terrorism Combat Conference on Feb. 22, 2015, the Grand Imam of al-Azhar Ahmed el-Tayeb addressed the same issue:
The courageous public recognition from these two prominent speakers—the president of the most important Arab state and the head of the most prestigious Sunni Muslim institution—is a far cry from substantial change of the destructive Islamist tide in the Middle East. However, a denunciation of Islamic radicalism so unequivocal offers a silver lining in an essentially dark regional reality.
From THE ISRAEL-ARAB READER: A Documentary History of the Middle East Conflict, edited by Walter Laqueur and Dan Schueftan, published on September 20, 2016, by Penguin Books, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Eighth revised and updated edition copyright © Walter Laqueur and Dan Schueftan 2016.