Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi reiterated his call for a “religious revolution” in Islam, in which values of tolerance should be promoted in the face of growing extremism.
In an interview with the Egyptian state-run Holy Koran radio station, El-Sisi advocated for a “revolution in religious views,” saying the Islamic world needs to rethink and revolt “for religion and not against it,” Ahram Online reported.
Egyptians have faced a growing threat from Islamic State-affiliated terror groups in the Sinai Peninsula and in Libya. Islamic State-linked terrorists have launched repeated attacks against Egyptian security forces and civilians, including the murder of 21 Egyptian Christians last month in Libya.
In a Jan. 1 speech at Egypt’s historic Al-Azhar University, El-Sisi had declared an ambitious plan for a “revolution” in Islam, with the goal of reforming a faith that he believes has made the Muslim world a source of “destruction” that is “making enemies of the whole world.”
“So 1.6 billion people [in the Muslim world] will kill the entire world of 7 billion? That’s impossible… We need a religious revolution,” he said.
El-Sisi’s vision includes purging Islam of extremist intolerance and violence, elements that terror groups like al-Qaeda and Islamic State use as recruitment tools.