Sheikh of Al-Azhar Ahmad Al-Tayyeb said that it was the Jews who had started the animosity with the Muslims, by rejecting the message of the Prophet Muhammad. In a May 5 interview with Egyptian TV's Channel 1, Sheikh Al-Tayyeb said that the Jews “took actual measures to thwart, kill, and bury the Islamic call in its infancy.” Even though 1,400 years have passed since the advent of Islam, Sheikh of Al-Azhar said, “we still suffer from Zionist-Jewish interference in the affairs of the Muslims.”
Ahmad Al-Tayyeb: "The Quran describes the relationship between the Muslims and the Christians as good. Between them, there is friendship, mercy and so on and so forth. This is in contrast to the way the relationship between the Muslims and the Jews is portrayed.
"The Jews are the ones who started the animosity. Even though some of them foretold - prior to the advent of the Prophet Muhammad - that a prophet would come at the end of time, and that together they would fight the pagans, the infidels, and the polytheists, they professed animosity towards the Prophet Muhammad after his arrival. This is the nature of human beings sometimes. They did not merely profess their animosity. They took actual measures to thwart, kill, and bury the Islamic call in its infancy.
"The Quran says: 'You will surely find the most intense of the people in animosity toward the believers to be the Jews and the polytheists.'"
Ahmad Al-Tayyeb: "Hence, this part of the holy verse affirms that that relation between the Muslims, on the one hand, and the Jews and the polytheists, on the other hand, is one of animosity."
Interviewer: "But it was started by the other side, by the Jews and the polytheists."
Ahmad Al-Tayyeb: "Yes, we also understand from the verse that those who began the state of animosity or professed it were not the Muslims. They did not profess their animosity toward the Jews and polytheists. It is the other way around.
"It is a historical fact that will never change. Even today... Look how we suffer at the hands of global Zionism and Judaism. We Muslims enjoyed peaceful coexistence with the Christians throughout history. The advent of Islam was 1,400 years ago, yet we still suffer from Jewish-Zionist interference in the affairs of the Muslims. This causes the Muslims great hardship.
"Even in their legislation, there are very strange things. For example, one is allowed to charge usury from non-Jews. Things that are prohibited between Jews are allowed between Jews and non-Jews. They follow a terrible, fundamental, and attested hierarchy, and they are not ashamed of it because it is written in the Torah. It refers to killing, to enslavement, and so on. Therefore, they have constituted a problem impeding relations - not just with the Muslims but with all the other nations."