Al-Azhar strongly condemned the militants’ attack on Sunni mosques in Baghdad and the displacement of many Sunni families, in an official statement on Wednesday.
“Those sectarian acts do not come except from non-humane people; Islam strictly prohibits such practices,” the statement said.
It also called for respecting places of worship and sparing them from any sectarian disputes, and called on all Iraqis to unite against extremists and abandon their disputes.
At least seven Sunni mosques and dozens of shops in eastern Iraq were firebombed Tuesday, a day after 23 people were killed there in two blasts claimed by “Islamic State” (IS), security sources and local officials told Reuters.
Ten people were also shot and killed in Muqdadiya, 80 km (50 miles) northeast of Baghdad, security and hospital sources announced. The attack was a response to a suicide bombing in a Shi’a mosque earlier in January, which destroyed three mosques and left two killed.
The strife between Shi’a and Sunni doctrines intensified after Saudi Arabia executed 47 citizens, including renowned Shi’a cleric Nimr Al-Nimr. Iranian protesters broke into the Saudi Arabian embassy in Tehran and set fire to it, which urged Saudi Arabia to cut all diplomatic ties with Iran.