Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb urged the Egyptian people to find their way out of the “ugly strife” trying to spread in the country.
Al-Tayeb released his statement in a televised address on Friday amid nationwide clashes between pro and anti-Morsi protesters.
“I tell all those who contribute to bloodshed, this whole world is not worth a single drop of blood spilled through unjust killing,” Al-Tayeb said.
Former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa released a joint statement on Friday night also condemning the violence. The statement was also signed by Islamic preachers Abla Al-Kahlawi, Al-Habib Ali Al-Gefri, Osama Al-Azhari and Moez Masoud.
“The attempts to hold onto power through stirring up strife and spreading chaos is by no means related to the Islamic religion,” the statement read.
It added that any justification for bloodshed, calling for jihad out of its context and inciting violence against Muslim citizens and followers of Abrahamic religions are “horrendous crimes against Islam”, holding those making such calls, or heeding them, responsible for any resultant violence.
The preachers also condemned “targeting soldiers and wrecking properties”, listing them among crimes against Islam.
“The religion of Allah bears absolutely no relation to the inflammatory speech currently being circulated,” the statement read, adding that such speech leads to “bloodshed” and “the collapse of the nation.”
Despite of an arrest warrant issued against him on Thursday, Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie gave a speech at the pro-Morsi sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adaweya on Friday, where he said Morsi supporters would be willing to sacrifice their lives to reinstate the former president.
“Our demonstrations are stronger than bullets and tanks,” he said in a direct reference to the threat of a military crackdown on the pro-Morsi sit-in.