Amr Khaled, a Egyptian Muslim preacher popular in the Arab world, has launched a campaign via his website to counter mounting sectarianism in Egypt. This campaign comes after Al-Azhar reportedly requested the preacher’s help in developing religious discourse.
According to Khaled’s official website, the campaign entitled “Internet without Sedition” seeks to raise youth awareness of attempts to fuel sectarian tension.
According to the most famous Arabic website, a Facebook member’s status, a comment on a news website, or an entry on an internet forum could have negative repercussions that go beyond the virtual world of the world wide web.
“Perhaps the recent Alexandria church bombing, which has rocked Egypt–and left 23 dead and around 100 injured–is the result of the accumulation of hundreds of comments and thousands of news stories and entries that feed sectarianism?” the website said.
The chief objective of the campaign is to stop all forms of incitement to sectarianism that exist on the internet, in order to preserve the unity of Egypt. The campaign will then be extended to encompass other countries in the Arab and Muslim worlds.
Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb met with popular Egyptian Muslim televangelist Amr Khaled at the Al-Azhar headquarters to discuss how to renew religious discourse, according to official Al-Azhar sources. Meanwhile, Al-Azhar spokesman Mohamed Rafaa al-Tahtawi denied that any such meeting took place. Al-Azhar sources said the denial is in line with Al-Azhar's "official position" because Khaled is not an Al-Azhar scholar.
In the meeting, Khaled affirmed that he was willing to contribute to any project led by Al-Azhar that serves da'wa (the call to Islam), the improvement of religious discourse, and the reinstatement of the religious establishment’s former prominence.
Amr Khaled is a charismatic and moderate populist Muslim preacher known for wooing crowds of upper-middle class Egyptian youths.
Despite his apolitical approach, Khaled upset Egyptian leaders with his ability to influence large groups, and many say his sermons caused a large number of young women to wear the Islamic veil. He spends much of his time in London due to pressure from Cairo, which is wary of popular religious leaders.