About 1,600 Egyptian professors at Al-Azhar University are planning to resign in protest of the recent raids on university campuses that resulted in Egyptian security forces entering classrooms and offending not only the students, but also the professors.
Earlier this week, security forces attacked students at Al-Azhar as they held rallies in support of 20 of their peers who have been arrested and charged for protesting against the coup. Police also fired tear gas to disperse students protesting outside Cairo University in support of both the imprisoned students from Al-Azhar and ousted President Mohamed Morsi.
Dozens of students from both universities have now been arrested and several students have reportedly sustained injuries. This comes after two students were killed last month: a medical student from Al-Azhar and an engineering student from Cairo University.
The head of the Federation of the Faculty of Commerce at Al-Azhar, Osama Zaid, confirmed the planned mass action to the Egyptian newspaper Al-Mesryoon.
According to Zaid, the professors are planning to establish an independent defence front in order to protect themselves, their rights and their students’ rights after the security services’ raids on different campuses and classrooms across the university.
Zaid also challenged university officials, asking: “Why the dean of the Medicine Faculty at Al-Azhar University does not follow in the footsteps of the dean of the Engineering Faculty at Cairo University, who resigned after the death of a student there?”
He also called on all professors at the university to resign in support of the students’ rights, which were violated before everyone’s eyes.