Egypt enrolls Russian imams in ‘fatwa coaching program’ to fight Brotherhood

CAIRO — Egypt has lately stepped up its help for Russia within the struggle in opposition to extremist ideologies and teams, most notably the Muslim Brotherhood. On Aug. 3, Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta (the Egyptian authority accountable for issuing spiritual edicts) introduced the commencement of 21 imams from Russia from a coaching camp on the issuance of fatwas in opposition to extremist ideologies.

Dar al-Ifta mentioned in a report on its portal on the identical day that “the training program for Russian imams aims to provide them with the ability to issue fatwas while adhering to the moderate approach of Islam, and to monitor and analyze extremist ideas.”

In a press release on Aug. 4, the mufti of Moscow and the chief imam of the Moscow Cathedral Mosque, Ildar Alyautdinov, mentioned, “The fatwa training program has been very beneficial for Russia’s imams. The Egyptian Dar al-Ifta was keen, through this training, to graduate Russian muftis who are well aware of the importance and seriousness of fatwas and the correct methods to issue moderate fatwas.”

Alyautdinov defined that the graduates of this coaching program will serve Russian Muslims in varied areas and republics throughout Russia since they have been chosen from varied locations overlaying all Russian republics.

The director of the coaching division at Dar al-Ifta, Amr al-Wardani, famous in a press assertion on Aug. Three that the coaching program for Russian imams included 20 classes, with two classes per day over the course of 10 days. He indicated the coaching curriculum included sciences associated to the formation of the mufti on the Sharia and civil ranges to mirror the picture of reasonable and tolerant Islam.

The Dar al-Ifta coaching program included one Russian lady named Kavalova Elina who works as a Sharia researcher. She was educated on confronting extremist concepts amongst Russian feminine residents.

Egypt and Russia share a hostile stance in opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood. Both international locations have listed it as a banned terrorist group. The Russian ambassador to Cairo, Georgy Borisenko, had mentioned in a press assertion again in June 2020 that “the Muslim Brotherhood has been banned in Russia since 2004, well before Egypt did.”

He asserted that the Brotherhood can not perform any occasions in Russia and shall be handled in response to the felony regulation if it does.

In December 2013, Egypt declared the Muslim Brotherhood a legally prohibited terrorist group.

Muslims in Russia quantity round 20 million overseas’s whole inhabitants of 146 million residents.

Meanwhile, the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Russia is working to confront extremism and extremist teams in Russia. It issued greater than 50 books to confront the hazard of extremism and reply to extremist teams within the nation.

In December 2020, Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawki Allam signed with the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Russia a memorandum of understanding and cooperation between the 2 international locations. Allam defined again then that “the agreement aims to form partnerships to spread moderation and combat extremist ideology, publish and translate books, and hold scientific meetings aimed to confront the ideology of extremism and terrorism.”

In the identical month, the Egyptian Dar al-Ifta organized its first on-line coaching course for Russian imams and members of the Council of Muftis in Russia. The two-day coaching additionally aimed to confront extremism and radical concepts espoused and unfold by extremist teams in Russia.

More lately, on July 29, the Russian Cultural Center in Egypt organized a symposium to fight extremist ideology. It was attended by a variety of students of Dar al-Ifta and a Russian spiritual delegation. At the conclusion of the symposium, Alyautdinov mentioned extremism in Egypt is much like that present in Russia. He pressured that there’s a cooperation protocol with Egypt’s Al-Azhar to struggle extremism in each international locations.

Hisham Abdel Aziz, secretary-general of the Egyptian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, who additionally attended the symposium, mentioned the symposium is the result of cooperation between Egyptian and Russian students with a view to fight extremist ideology and unfold reasonable thought.

In early 2019, Al-Azhar expressed its readiness to offer scholarships and coaching camps for imams and preachers from Russia. In a gathering again then with a delegation from the members of the Russian Muftis Shura Council, Al-Azhar Undersecretary Sheikh Saleh Abbas praised the robust relationship between Russia and Egypt. He pressured his nation’s readiness to offer all technique of help for Muslims in Russia, whether or not by means of scholarships or Al-Azhar Academy for coaching imams and preachers to confront extremism.

Amr Eldeeb, a professor on the Institute of International Relations and World History on the Russian Lobachevsky University, advised Al-Monitor Russia has had its shares of terrorist and extremist operations and has nice expertise in coping with extremist teams normally.

“Russia is one of the first countries in the world to put the Muslim Brotherhood on the list of banned organizations,” Eldeeb famous. “Russian security leaders are well aware of the danger the group poses on security and stability.”

He argued that sending Russian imams to check in international locations that adopted radical Salafi thought contributed to the unfold of extremist ideology in Russia. “These imams returned to their homeland imbued with extremist ideas that Russia is trying to fight,” he mentioned.

Eldeeb added, “Russia made a shift by sending its Muslim students to study at Al-Azhar in Egypt. It wants to benefit from the moderation of Al-Azhar. This falls in the best interests of both Cairo and Moscow in their war against terrorist and extremist ideology, most notably the Brotherhood ideology.”

Sheikh Khaled Emran, secretary-general for fatwas at Dar al-Ifta, advised Al-Monitor, “The training programs for Russian imams focus on a primary goal, which is to promote moderate discourse and the foundations of coexistence in society, and to discuss and monitor extremist ideas.”

Emran added, “The Russian imams have been trained to acquire the skill of responding to, confronting and refuting these extremist ideas.”

“The coaching of Russian imams included feminine contributors. The Islamic faith believes in gender equality relating to receiving data. If a girl rises to the fore in preaching and issuing fatwas, she have to be geared up with the abilities to reply to spiritual women-related inquiries,” he mentioned.

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