Muslim Council of Elders to curb anti-Muslim hate crimes in the West amid unrest

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The Muslim Council of Elders, under the Chairmanship of the Grand Imam of al-Azhar Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb, has launched an initiative to counter anti-Muslim hate crimes in the West, a statement released on Wednesday said.

The Council strongly condemned the burning of the Holy Qur’an by far-right extremists in Sweden over the weekend in what it described as a “deliberate attempt to offend Muslims around the world.”

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The violence in Malmo, Sweden began on Thursday after a demonstration organized by Rasmus Paludan, leader of Danish far-right political party Hard Line.

“The Council reaffirms that such desecrations of the Holy Qur’an are initiated by certain groups from time to time with the sole purpose of provoking Muslims. Likewise, they are being deliberately carried out during the holy month of Ramadan, in a clear violation of the values of human fraternity and coexistence,” the statement read.

“Through the assistance of legal and human rights experts, the Council is in the process of publishing a legal guideline on managing Islamophobia in the West,” said Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, Secretary-General of the Council.

The initiative will be inspired by the historic Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together which was signed by Head of The Catholic Church Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of al-Azhar on 4 February 2019. The Document advocates for world peace and peaceful interfaith coexistence.

“The guideline will be inspired by the historic Document on Human Fraternity and will strive to be a tool for Muslim communities in the West on how to cope with provocations by far-right groups. It will also serve as a manual for Muslims in the West for any other issues that may arise going forward,” added Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam.

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