Egypt’s al-Azhar submits World Cup speech to Brazilian embassy

Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb is invited to speak at the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup

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Egypt’s al-Azhar - considered the highest seat of Islamic Sunni learning - said Saturday it has submitted a speech which is due to be delivered by the institute’s grand imam during the start of the World Cup.

Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb was invited by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in April to speak at the World Cup opening ceremony in Rio De Janeiro, set to begin on June 12.

A statement released on Saturday by the leading Islamic institute, said that the draft had been submitted to the Brazilian embassy in Cairo, and that organizers in Brazil are to decide on how the speech will be delivered.

Brazil’s Ambassador to Cairo Marco Brandão said earlier that al-Azhar was invited to deliever a speech due to the important role it plays in spreading the principles of Islam.

“The invitation represents a global recognition of the significant role of al-Azhar in establishing principals of moderate Islam amid the notable increase of terrorism,” said Brandão, according to Cairo-based al-Shorouk newspaper.

The speech is reportedly going to focus on peace and the importance of curbing extremism, media reports said.

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