How Al-Azhar’s grand imam survived the constitutional amendments

Source: Madamasr

Author(s): Asmahan Soliman

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As part of the raft of controversial amendments to Egypt’s Constitution slated to be put to a public referendum later this month, a proposed article would have featured a less independent Al-Azhar — Egypt’s highest Islamic institution and an authority on Sunni Islam worldwide — a source close to Al-Azhar’s leadership tells Mada Masr.

However, political mediation has put a halt to the move, which was abandoned in return for a set of compromises from Al-Azhar’s grand imam, Ahmed al-Tayyeb.

According to the source, the proposed article in the constitutional amendments would have given the president the authority to appoint Al-Azhar’s grand imam himself — as was the case before 2012 — which has since been altered to bestow Al-Azhar scholars the power of choosing their own leader.

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