In a speech delivered at Al-Azhar at the end of 2014, Egyptian President Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi called to combat extremist ideology and said: “We need to revolutionize our religion.” Calling for “religious discourse that is in keeping with its times,” Al-Sisi warned that “the Islamic nation is being torn apart and destroyed” by extremism.
There is something very levelheaded about Egypt’s president. Since entering office in June 2014, Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi, has incorporated reforms meant to strengthen Egypt’s economy, improve education, overcome the country’s energy crisis, the expansion of the Suez Canal project, and, perhaps most importantly for world peace and stability, Al-Sasi would like Islam to be perceived as more tolerant and this speech to Muslim clergymen is part of a long process of creating a democratic, religiously tolerant country. Al-Sasi has made changes in school textbooks which discuss Islam and in the second video is seen delivering a speech to Egyptian Christians at the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo during their Christmas mass.
Al-Sasi has bravely begun to lead Egypt on a road towards tolerance and democracy. If only other Muslim countries would follow.