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Clerics seek to rid Islam of extremists

By Associated Press in Abu Dhabi, UAE | China Daily | Updated: 2015-07-17 07:53

During the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Muslims are called on to reflect on their faith as they conduct their daily fast. This past month, some clerics and scholars reflected on ways to reform the religious discourse in Islam to keep up with modern-day challenges and oppose extremism.

A popular Egyptian religious figure used his daily TV show to talk about ways to renew the interpretation of Islam's holy book, the Quran. The United Arab Emirates hosted a series of Ramadan mosque lectures by dozens of clerics, including many from al-Azhar, Egypt's premier Sunni Muslim center of thought and learning; and a popular US sheikh, who warned that "renovation" is needed in Islam after centuries of neglect in thought left the Muslim world in disrepair.

On one level, the religious reform effort - known in Arabic as tajdeed (renewal) - is aimed at drawing the faithful away from extremism at a time when militant violence has escalated in the region with the spread of the Islamic State group.

Clerics seek to rid Islam of extremists

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