Head of Sunni Islam's Al-Azhar says IS are 'criminals'

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Cairo, Sep 8: The head of Egypt's Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's highest seat of learning, on Monday said that jihadists of the Islamic State were "criminals" serving a "Zionist" plot to "destroy the Arab world."

"These criminals have been able to transmit to the world a tarnished and alarming image of Muslims," Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb said.

"These fundamentalist terrorist groups, whatever their names, and their backers are colonial creations that serve Zionism in its plot to destroy the Arab world."

Al-Azhar is Egypt's top religious authority and runs a university long seen as the most prestigious centre of Sunni Muslim learning.

It espouses a different school of theology within Sunnism than the radical Salafi views of the Islamic State and other jihadist groups, and has backed a government crackdown on Islamist opposition. 


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