Cairo: Egypt's Al-Azhar institution, the world's top body for Sunni Islamic learning, on Saturday urged the West to distinguish between Islam and terrorism, stressing that both are poles apart.
"We call on the West not to react to terror attacks at their countries in a way that affects the Muslims in their communities," Al-Azhar's Grand Mufti Ahmed al-Tayyib was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
Tayyib's remarks came after some acts of violence and persecution against Muslims have been reported in some Western nations in reaction to the recent terrorist attacks in France that killed at least 129 people.
The Islamic State militant group had claimed responsibility for the attacks.
"Terrorism has neither religion nor identity," the Al-Azhar chief said, describing terrorists as "death gangs, evil contractors and blood brokers".