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Al Azhar Rejects US Envoy for Minorities

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TEHRAN, August 3 (ICANA) – The university of Al-Azhar on Tuesday expressed strong rejection to a U.S. administration decision to establish a special envoy for rights of religious minorities in the Middle East and South Asia.
Wednesday, August 03, 2011 7:49:08 PM
Al Azhar Rejects US Envoy for Minorities

"This is an act of arrogance and tutelage on countries that have respected deeply-rooted civilizations," Al-Azhar said in a strongly-worded press statement, according to Arab media reports.

It added that this step is incompatible with the civilized dialogue, based on mutual respect, between different nations.

"This is a kind of state terrorism that is practiced by major powers, but contradicts customs, traditions and international laws," the statement reads.

It went on to say that Middle East nations, in particular Egypt, did not undergo the religious wars and sectarian and ethnic persecution witnessed by the Western countries.

The US House of Representatives voted on Monday to establish a US envoy to protect the rights of religious minorities in the Middle East and South Asia.

The envoy will be tasked with pressing minority rights in a broad region covering the Arab world, Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. But the bill asks the envoy to prioritize Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Earlier, member of the Iraqi Parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee, Hussein Khudhier al-Hamdani said the move was tantamount to "foreign interference in the country’s affairs.”

Iraq’s Christian al-Rafidain parliamentary bloc had rejected any interference in the country’s national affairs, confirming its dependence on the national partnership to protect it, whilst it announced non-rejection of the appointment of an American envoy as observer in Iraq.

 “The appointment of the said envoy is alright, as an observer towards such rights, though we reject interference in our patriotic and nationalist affairs, thing that would have its passive and not positive impact,” Legislature Younadim Kanna told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, confirming that “the minorities depend in the national partnership to protect their rights.”

Kanna reiterated that “such international observation shall represent a strong opposition for the religious and nationalist extremists.”

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