CAIRO: Egypt’s top cleric on Tuesday admonished the rulers of Libya, Syria and Yemen against spilling Muslim blood and warned Iran to stay out of Arab affairs, the official MENA news agency reported.
Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the government appointed sheikh of Al-Azhar, urged the leaders of the three Arab countries that face popular revolts to respect "the sanctity of Muslim blood."
Al-Tayeb, who was a senior member of ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s disbanded National Democratic Party, also warned Shia Iran to "not interfere in Arab countries’ internal affairs" to avoid tensions with Sunnis.
Several Arab countries have blamed Iranian involvement in regional political unrest, especially in Bahrain, where a Sunni monarchy dominates a Shia majority that is demanding political reforms.
Al-Azhar, which runs the Islamic world’s oldest university, has had its prestige tarnished by its seemingly pro-government line during an 18-day revolt that toppled Mubarak in February.
Al-Tayeb has said he wants to reform the institution, whose religious edicts still carry weight in most Sunni Muslim countries.