The official website of Al Azhar, Egypt's leading Islamic institution, was hacked Tuesday afternoon to protest the detention of students as well as what the hacker called the institute's "solidarity with coup authorities."
The website was soon after restored by its administrators.
Using the name 'Alex 7' and identifying himself as a 'Rabaa hacker', in solidarity with Rabaa Al-Adaweya, the site of a pro-Mohamed Morsi sit-in that was dispersed by security forces in August, the hacker left a message declaring that the website had been sabotaged to "condemn the military coup and the murder of Egypt's youth, elderly and women for the sake of a war on terrorism."
The hacker's statement went on to condemn the arrest and detention of Al-Azhar students and the use of force by police, which, he said, killed students and then later blamed the deaths on the Muslim Brotherhood.
Also posted on the website was a satirical cartoon labelling Sheikh Ali Gomaa, the former Egyptian Grand Mufti, as "the military Sheikh" and depicting him selling fatwas.
After regaining control of the website, its administrators removed all the hacker's comments and the cartoon.
Protests have rocked Al-Azhar University since the start of the academic year in September. Last Monday over 58 students representing pro-Brotherhood as well independent groups were arrested during on-campus clashes with security forces.