Imams protest to demand independence of Al-Azhar

About 15,000 imams and Islamic preachers held demonstrations on Tuesday, demanding that Al-Azhar be an independent institution, and that its grand sheikh be elected and not appointed.

They also demanded that Al-Azhar retain its international role as a leader of the Islamic world, and that the Ministry of Religious Endowments and the Ifta (religious edicts) Authority come under its jurisdiction.

Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb was not present at Al-Azhar headquarters, which the military cordoned off to prevent the protesters from entering it.

Minister of Religious Endowments Abdallah al-Husseini said a committee is currently studying the possibility of reappointing imams who lost their jobs after the State Security Investigation Service was dissolved.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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