Interpreting Islamism for Peace

In the wake of the ISIS’s Palm Sunday bombings of Coptic churches in Egypt, Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam’s most revered institution, not only refused to denounce the terrorist organization as “un-Islamic,” but repeated its implausible boast of being a bulwark against extremism in the Muslim-Arab world, and accused those calling for religious reform of treason.

One such “traitor” was Egyptian TV presenter Islam Behery, a British-educated writer and Sunni Muslim who had been exposing the roots of violence within Islamic tradition itself, until he was forced off the air after protests by Al-Azhar in 2015.

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