Egypt’s al-Azhar distances itself from crackdown on pro-Mursi camps

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Egypt’s Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s main seat of learning, on Wednesday distanced itself from the crackdown on protesters loyal to ousted president Mohamed Mursi which left dozens dead.

“Al-Azhar stresses to all Egyptians that it did not know about the methods used for the dispersal of the protests except through media channels,” Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayyeb said in a televised statement.

Tayyeb condemned any use of violence and called on all sides to “exercise self-restraint and take into account the interests of the nation.”

“The use of violence has never been an alternative to a political solution,” he said.

Tayyeb reiterated his call for a negotiated solution to the crisis pitting Mursi’s supporters and the army-installed leadership that has paralyzed the country.

The prestigious institution had infuriated Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood by siding with the military over the Islamist president’s ouster on July 3.

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