Presidential candidate El-Hariri demands SCAF dismiss Egypt's Mufti

Yasmine Wali, Sunday 22 Apr 2012

MP and presidential candidate El-Hariri asks SCAF to dismiss Grand Mufti after last week's visit to Jerusalem, and calls on parliament to condemn his action

El-Hariri (Photo: Ahram Archives)

Presidential Contender Abu El Ezz El-Hariri, running on the Socialist Popular Alliance Party (SPAP) ticket, demanded on Sunday the ruling military council dismiss Grand Mufti Aly Gomaa for his visit to occupied Jerusalem last week.

El-Hariri, who is also a member of parliament from Alexandria, also asked People's Assembly to denounce El Mufti's visit.

According to the Daily El-Shrouk, E- Hariri said "a person who holds a public post should not claim that he is entitled to personal behavior that is separate from his official capacity, and Aly Gomaa went out of national consensus and paid a questionable visit [ to occupied Palestine]."

Last week, The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and other political forces denounced Egypt's Grand Mufti visit to Jerusalem on 18th of April for the opening of the Imam Ghazali Centre of Islamic Studies, even though it was organised under Jordanian, not Israeli, jurisdiction. 

Gomaa was accompanied in the visit that was not previously announced to the piblic by Prince Ghazi Bin Mohamed, advisor on religious matters to King Abdullah II of Jordan and the president of Al-Beit, an institute of Islamic thought.

His visit came despite decades of opposition by various political and religious bodies in Egypt to normalising relations with Israel or travelling to areas under Israeli occupation.

Gomma said his visit was arranged by Jordanian authorities and did not involve any visas or entrance stamps by Israel since Jordan is the guardian of Jerusalem's holy shrines.

Gomaa also stated that his visit was not on an official note.

He repeated his rejection of normalisation between Muslims and the Israeli occupation highlighting, at th same time, the importance of supporting Jerusalem and re-awakening the Palestinian cause for Muslims.

A well-known member of parliament, socialist and labour activist over the past 50 years, El-Hariri is a presidential candidate with a long record of fighting for social justice.

The Socialist Popular Alliance Party nominated El-Hariri to be its presidential candidate on 7 March 2012, and he announced his candidacy that night on the Al-Arabiya satellite TV station.

Presidential elections will take place on 23 and 24 May, and the president will be named on 21 June after a runoff voting round on 16 and 17 June.

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