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Pope and Imam's hug sends a powerful message to ISIS

Islamic fundamentalism has discovered a startling reality within the Muslim world: the Imam of al-Azhar. His meeting with the Pope at the Vatican and his tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks have displayed the opposition of one of the most important leaders of the Muslim world to the radicals. ADNANE MOKRANI  Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies "There is a battle in the heart of Islam. The battle between the Islam majority, traditional Islam and an ignorant and violent minority that is hurting the image of Islam. The meeting between the Pope and the Imam of al-Azhar was historic. It is of great importance because the al-Azhar University represents a very important Sunni Islamic worldwide institution.â? The Tunisian professor, Adnane Mokrani, explains in order to combat terrorism it is vital that Islamic universities regain their autonomy and prestige. ADNANE MOKRANI Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies "We will share a little history. Islam is not like the Catholic Church. There is no single, central authority. There are institutions, traditional universities of the Islamic world. These universities were autonomous, self-financed, but after the postcolonial period, they were nationalized. Their property was confiscated and thus, the university became part of the State and lost its autonomy and authority. This is the crisis of the Islamic institution." Adnane Mokrani said that if the Islamic universities regain their independence, they will also regain their prestige in the Muslim population. Also, the arrival of democracy and literacy would prevent fundamentalist influence on the society. It is no coincidence, therefore, that Pope Francis has intensely promoted interfaith meetings and initiatives, such as Scholas Occurrentes. This global network of schools brings together students of different races and religions to foster dialogue and brotherhood between different peoples and cultures. JRB/MB MG / AA / RR -SV -PR up: IPC #Pope Francis