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Ousting Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar is 'big mistake'

The Grand Imam of Egypt’s Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayeb on 4 February 2019 [VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images]
The Grand Imam of Egypt’s Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayeb on 4 February 2019 [VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images]

Egyptian journalist Sulieman Joudeh has warned against ousting the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tayeb, noting this would be a "big mistake" that would undermine the religious institution, Al-Mesryoon reported yesterday.

Joudeh also warned that removing El-Tayeb from his position would undermine Egypt's image among Islamic states.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the journalist explained, had attempted to oust El-Tayeb from his post, and he stood by current President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi while he was defence minister and after he orchestrated the coup to remove the Brotherhood from power.

There have been reports that El-Tayeb has been under pressure to resign. El-Tayeb has had a tumultuous relationship with Al-Sisi since his ascension to the presidency. Al-Sisi regularly accuses Al-Azhar – a prestigious university in the Egyptian capital Cairo and the largest religious institution in the Islamic world – of spreading extremism and misinterpreting the fundamentals of Islam. This conflict has been revealed to the public on numerous occasions since Al-Sisi first lamented "how exhausting to deal with you?" in the course of an improvised speech directed at El-Tayeb in 2017.

Egyptian authorities have also prohibited the publishing of official statements by Al-Azhar.

READ: 66 European MPs condemn human rights situation in Egypt

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