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Al-Azhar withdraws from constituent assembly

Egypt's official Islamic institution joins growing list of parties and figures resigning from newly elected constituent assembly after claiming it was 'marginalised'

Ahram Online , Thursday 29 Mar 2012
Nasr Farid Wassel
Sheikh Nasr Farid Wassel (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Views: 2798
Views: 2798

Al-Azhar and its Islamic Research Centre announced Thursday the withdrawal of their representative, former grand mufti of Egypt Sheikh Nasr Farid Wassel, from the constituent assembly.

According to the press statement released by the world-famous seat of Islamic learning, Al-Azhar left the assembly in protest of "attempts by some to marginalise its role in Egypt." This follows the rejection of Al-Azhar's proposed 11-article statement of general constitutional principles.

The Al-Azhar Document  was drafted last summer together with numerous prominent intellectuals and religious figures. In it, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed El-Tayeb, laid out his support for a "democratic and constitutional" state, adding that theocratic states have always been autocratic.

The Document was praised across the political spectrum, including receiving support from leading opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei, liberal parties like the Free Egyptians Party as well as the Muslim Brotherhood and some Salafists.

Although generally accepted as a useful foundation for the constitution, it was subsequently ignored by the constituent assembly.

Since the final assembly list was released on 24 March, most of the liberal party representatives and independents in the constituent assembly have resigned because it is so heavily dominated by Islamists.  

The Supreme Constitutional Court representative also resigned in objection to a recent statement made by the Muslim Brotherhood that the court would cooperate with the ruling military council to allow the rigging of the presidential elections.

The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) is set to hold a second meeting with all the parties in Parliament, in order to resolve the constituent assembly crisis, following the daily withdrawal of its members.  

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Essam Mohamed Ghareeb
03-07-2012 04:56pm
Al Azhar
Al azhar institution as a whole , University, Mosque, followers, voiced leadership of the "real" deeply religious and sofists all over the world and the majority of muslims in Egypt is the only hope left for muslims and the rest of hunmanity to stand against the tide of the superficially "religious" fundamintalists who are in reality aim to control. If they are not stopped and kept in check, they will, and mark my words, be worse than any dictator in history. The fight is not going to be won by guns or sticks, its theological and has to be won by ideas and knowledge. Al Azhar and its followers and lovers is the only source left to take on this fight. These fundamintalists are risking the anger of the quite real religious people of Egypt to boil over. Look at the history of Egypt and see what happened when they stood up to correct unfairness and defend the country. To marginalise Al Azhar in Egypt , is not only going to be a catastrophy in Egypt, but its going to be a disaster for hum
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