Egypt Independent

Al-Azhar issues document to support democracy in region



Al-Azhar has issued a document in support of democratic transformation in the Arab region, state-run news agency MENA reported on Monday.

In September Al-Azhar said it was preparing a document presenting its vision for reforming Arab countries and achieving democracy on the basis of social justice and the equal distribution of wealth.
 
Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayyeb said in a statement Monday that the document was put together by Al-Azhar scholars and other intellectuals in support of Arab people's desire for reform and development. 
 
The document upholds the right of people to reform their societies in accordance with constitutional principles and Islamic Sharia.
 
Tayyeb said it also urges Arab regimes to consider the ambitions of their people, pursue economic reform, establish democracy, and harness science and technology to fight backwardness.
 
He added that the people should be the source of power, that legislative, executive and judicial powers should be properly distributed, and that officials should be held accountable for their actions.
 
Rule should be based on justice and fighting oppression; opposition and other peaceful movements should be given the right to expression in accordance with Islamic sharia and other governing laws, the document said.
 
In June Al-Azhar issued a document tackling local affairs that was well-received by various actors in the political arena.
 
That document, issued in cooperation with intellectuals, expressed Al-Azhar’s vision for the future of Egypt after the 25 January revolution.
 
It called for establishing a democratic state based on a constitution that satisfies all Egyptians. It also called for commitment to basic freedoms and respect for all sectors of Egyptian society
 
It angered the Salafi Dawaa movement, which rejected the proposal to allow followers of religions other than Islam to be governed by their own laws in matters connected to personal affairs.