A leading Sunni Muslim cleric called Monday for an ideological battle against Islamic State group militants, including the deployment and training of moderate clerics in Europe to counter extremist thought.
“It primarily requires an intellectual treatment,” Abbas Shoman, the deputy sheikh of Egypt’s Al-Azhar institute, told AFP.
“It should not be limited to security treatment,” he said.
The cleric said Al-Azhar, one of the leading centres of Islamic learning, had advised French officials before Friday’s Paris attacks that moderate clerics were needed in France.
Al-Azhar’s head, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb, condemned the bloody attacks that were claimed by IS, describing them as contrary to religion.
“The problem is, those who control religious discourse, they and their stances should be reviewed,” Shoman said.
“You must be certain that those in charge of religious discourse are not helping in the spread of terrorism,” he said.
Shoman said Al-Azhar has little presence in Europe, but the numbers of Europeans who have joined IS pointed to the presence of extremist preaching in the continent.
“You will find that these people lack in (Islamic) education, and have not been religious for long, and yet they consider what they’re doing is jihad,” he added.
Shoman, who described coalition air strikes against IS as “not serious” and warned against “punishing civilians”, said Al-Azhar could send clerics to France, or train them, to counter extremists.
“You have to open the path for moderate clerics, and Azhar is ready,” he said.
“And if we can’t guide the terrorists, at least we can protect other” Muslims.
Shoman, whose institution runs a university and schools across Egypt and has long been at odds with puritanical Salafi-inspired militants, floated the idea of an educational centre in France.
But such clerics would also require “protection” from extremists, he said.
Moon may be richer in water than thought — and it could help propel humans farther from earth
There may be far more water on the Moon than previously thought, according to two studies published Monday raising the tantalising prospect that astronauts on future space missions could find refreshment -- and maybe even fuel -- on the lunar surface.
The Moon was believed to be bone dry until around a decade ago when a series of findings suggested that our nearest celestial neighbour has traces of water trapped in the surface.
Two new studies published in Nature Astronomy on Monday suggest there could be much more water than previously thought, including ice stored in permanently shadowed "cold traps" at lunar polar regions.
Asymptomatic coronaagvirus sufferers lose antibodies sooner: study
Asymptomatic coronavirus sufferers appear to lose detectable antibodies sooner than people who have exhibited Covid-19 symptoms, according to one of the biggest studies of its kind in Britain published on Tuesday.
The findings by Imperial College London and market research firm Ipsos Mori also suggest the loss of antibodies was slower in 18–24 year-olds compared to those aged 75 and over.
Overall, samples from hundreds of thousands of people across England between mid-June and late September showed the prevalence of virus antibodies fell by more than a quarter.
The research, commissioned by the British government and published Tuesday by Imperial, indicates people's immune response to Covid-19 reduces over time following infection.
Early voting to be hit by heavy rain and flooding as Hurricane Zeta barrels towards the Gulf Coast
Hurricane Zeta is expected to make landfall near Louisiana's border with Mississippi on Wednesday evening as campaigns work to get supporters to the polls and convince any undecided voters to back their candidate.
"Hurricane conditions and life-threatening storm surge are possible along portions of the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday, and Storm Surge and Hurricane Watches are in effect," the National Hurricane Center warned.
"Between Tuesday night and Thursday, heavy rainfall is expected from portions of the central Gulf Coast into the southern Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic states near and in advance of Zeta. This rainfall will lead to flash, urban, small stream, and minor river flooding," the center explained.