Grand Imam of Al Azhar Sheikh Ahmed Al Tayyeb Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Cairo: Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Al Tayyeb, has lashed out at calls for unifying the three heavenly religions into one faith, saying the suggestion contradicts freedom of beliefs.

“These calls, it seems, aim at blending Judaism, Christianity and Islam in one religion named Abrahamism or the Abrahamic religion,” the top Muslim cleric said at a Cairo ceremony marking an anniversary of an Islamic-Coptic institution.

“These calls, similar to calls of globalisation, the end of history, global ethics, etc, appear on the surface to promote human togetherness and unity and eliminate causes of strife and conflicts,” he added.

However, the suggestion, implies depriving humans of freedom of faith, according to the pre-eminent scholar.

“Emanating from our belief in our heavenly religions, we believe that it is impossible for humankind to concur on one religion, given differences among people in colours, creeds, minds, languages and even fingerprints. All this is a historical and scientific fact, and before this it is a fact confirmed by the Holy Quran.”

Sheikh Al Tayyeb is a leading advocate of inter-faith dialogue.

In 2019, he and Pope Francis co-signed in the UAE the Document on Human Fraternity, also known as Abu Dhabi Declaration, underscoring values of tolerance, peace and freedom of faith.