Thursday, March 24, 2011

Al-Azhar Imam Resigns

Protestors Prevent Tayeb Entrance To Office
Azhar Imam Resigns, Military Council Rejects
Demonstrators prevented Azhar Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb from entering his office.
Demonstrators prevented Azhar Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb from entering his office.
The crisis in Egypt’s top religious body and the world’s leading institution of Sunni Islam reached new heights with al-Azhar Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb submitting his resignation after protestors prevented him from entering his office.

Employees at the Azhar Sheikdom prevented al-Azhar Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb from entering his office and demanded that he quits his position, the London-based Asharq al-Awsat reported Wednesday.
After standing in front of the building’s closed gate for a while, Tayeb headed to the headquarters of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, which took over after the fall of Hosni Mubarak’s regime, where he met with council chairman Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi and submitted his resignation, according to an al-Azhar source.

According to the same source, Tantawi rejected Tayeb’s resignation and told him that Egypt is going through very difficult times and that he needs to be patient. Tayeb then went home in “very low spirits,” the source added.

Azhar protests

After the January 25 revolution ousted the regime of former president Mubarak, protesters from inside al-Azhar have called for the independence of the institution and demanded that the grand imam be elected by all al-Azhar members across Egypt and that elections be supervised by the judiciary.

A delegation of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces went to al-Azhar and met with the protestors in order to listen to their demands and communicate them to the grand imam.

The protestors demanded that all al-Azhar restructures its organization in order to dismiss all those above pension age and start allowing youths to take part in the leadership of the institution.

They also called for the dismissal of all figures related to Egypt’s notorious State Security Intelligence and said they wanted the army to leave.

The protestors demanded the al-Azhar administration get rid of all appointed advisors, who reportedly get very high salaries and are accused of stealing alms money.

When their demands were not met, hundreds of employees demonstrated Tuesday in front of the Sheikhdom. They closed all the building’s gates, stopped the elevators, and prevented the grand imam and all al-Azhar’s senior officials from entering.
(Translated from the Arabic by Sonia Farid)

Source: Al-Arabiya - Wednesday, March 23, 2011