Obama’s Cairo speech was co-hosted by Al-Azhar Islamic University which he praised in his speech as “a beacon of Islamic learning”.
But the beacon doesn’t seem to be beckoning him. Al-Azhar University released a statement that isn’t exactly supportive of Obama’s Syrian adventure.
The Al-Azhar University in Cairo, considered Sunni Islam’s highest authority, said on Sunday that it opposed an American strike on Syria, calling such intervention “an aggression against the Arab and Islamic nation” that would endanger peace and security in the region.
But the institution said it supported “the right of the Syrian people to decide their destiny and their government for themselves in all freedom and transparency,” and condemned “recourse to chemical weapons, whoever it was that used them.”
The move isn’t particularly surprising. Al-Azhar tends to echo the Egyptian government and has backed the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Egyptian government is bluntly opposed to Obama’s Operation Caliphate war for the Muslim Brotherhood. So is Al-Azhar. This has led to a nasty slapfight between Al-Azhar and Turkey’s lunatic Islamist ruler, Erdogan.
This week Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan scolded the head of Cairo’s Al-Azhar religious seminary for assenting to the Egyptian military’s moves to strip the country’s former Islamist regime of power.
Al-Tayeb, the Turkish premier declared, was “finished.” He went further, insisting that “history will curse Al-Azhar Imam as it cursed religious intellectuals in Turkey before.”
In response, a spokesman for Egypt’s military-linked presidency denounced Erdogan as a man of “no religious culture.” For its part Al-Azhar responded with a condemnation, asserting that al-Tayeb was “t considered a symbol of Egyptians alone, but also occupies a lofty status in the Arab and Islamic worlds.” The university called for a formal retraction.
The General Union for the Egyptian Chamber of Commerce responded to the comments by announcing that it was suspending relations with Turkey.
Erdogan is really out of control if he’s picking a fight with Al Azhar’s Grand Imam. Jeffrey Goldberg wrote that Erdogan was a smart man obsessed with the Jews. But that’s ignorant and untrue. Erdogan isn’t just obsessed with Jews. The Jewish obsession is a subset of his Islamist lunacy. Erdogan was never a smart man and he’s making it obvious that the differences between him and Erdogan were cosmetic.
Meanwhile Obama has lost Egypt and Al-Azhar. But he still has Erdogan.