Why the reformist Sheikh of al-Azhar is now labelled conservative? by G. Fahmi/ BLOG

CAIRO, EGYPT - JULY 20: Exterior of the Al-Azhar Mosque, the chief center of Islamic learning in the world, on July 20, 2010 in Cairo, Egypt.; Shutterstock ID 70114258; Purchase Order: Medirection

Many Egyptian intellectuals celebrated the appointment of Ahmed Al-Tayebas head of al-Azhar in March 2010. With his Sufibackground and his career in education as a professor of philosophywho studied in France, Al-Tayeb was presented as a reformist scholar who could lead a renewal processin Egypt’s oldest religious institution.

This image was confirmed after the ousting of Mubarakin February 2011. During the transitional period, al-Azhar sponsored several rounds of dialogue between senior religious scholars and Egyptian intellectuals that sought common ground between the principles of Islamic sharia and the values of freedom and human rights.

Continue reading