Islamic al-Azhar calls for bold Arab action on Syria

February 14, 2012 20:42

CAIRO- The head of Egypt's influential seat of Islamic learning, al-Azhar, called on Tuesday for bold Arab action to stop the Syrian government's "hellish killing machine" while scolding China and Russia for blocking a peace plan in the UN Security Council.

Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb, head of the Cairo-based institution, also urged Syrian protesters fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad to refrain from turning their struggle into an armed confrontation, two days after Arab League diplomats suggested arming opposition forces could be an option.

"The situation now, brothers, no longer needs statements to condemn and criticize, but it is in desperate need of urgent, serious, and bold action from the Arabs," Tayeb added, without giving details of what kind of action he sought.

"I call on the human conscience to stop this hellish killing machine that works to shed blood. It must be stopped," he said.

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