Muslim forum on 'terrorism' seeks education reform

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) - A counter-terrorism conference attended by senior Muslim scholars from around the world on Wednesday called for education reform to tackle religious extremism.

Participants at the meeting in the Saudi holy city of Mecca urged Muslim leaders to review the religious messages in education, to achieve a more moderate approach.

The recommendation came in a communique after the three-day conference organised by the Mecca-based Muslim World League, a group of non-government organisations.

"The fight against terrorism and religious extremism does not conflict with Islam," the statement said.

"Terrorism has no religion or homeland, and to accuse Islam of being behind terrorism is unjust and false," it added.

The call comes as Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations battle Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group militants who have seized swathes of Iraq and Syria.

At the start of the conference, the head of Cairo-based Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's most prestigious seat of learning, said some people had embraced a misguided form of the religion.

This must be countered in schools and universities, Al-Azhar grand imam Ahmed al-Tayib said.

Ahead of the forum, he expressed outrage at ISIS for burning to death a captured and caged Jordanian pilot who took part in the US-led air strikes against the extremists in Syria.