Obama, Hillary mourn death of Islamic cleric in Cairo

Washington: US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have mourned the death of Grand Imam Mohamed Sayyid Tantawi, the head of al-Azhar University in Cairo.

"As the grand sheikh of Al-Azhar University, he was a voice for faith and tolerance who was widely respected in Muslim communities in Egypt and around the globe, and by many who seek to build a world grounded in mutual respect," the White House said in a statement.

"Sheikh Tantawi graciously hosted President Obama last June in Cairo, and we remember well his hospitality," it said.

Noting that Imam Tantawi was a highly respected cleric and the leader of one of the most important institutions of Islamic learning in the world, Hillary said Al-Azhar had stood in Cairo last summer as a beacon of Islamic learning for over a thousand years, and it continues to play a dynamic role today.

"Imam Tantawi was an important voice for dialogue among religions and communities," Hillary said.

Americans will always remember Imam Tantawi for his condemnations of violence after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, she said.

Under his leadership, the university co-hosted the president's speech laying out a vision for a ‘New Beginning’ between the US and Muslim communities around the world, Hillary said.

PTI

Zee News

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