Al-Azhar rejects laws annulling its religious reference

Al-Azhar rejects any laws concerning its role that were not primarily drafted by members of the institution, Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayyeb said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Such laws cannot be issued in the absence of the Al-Azhar scholars themselves,” he said.

Salafi MP Ali Katamesh had submitted a proposal to Parliament’s Proposals and Complaints Committee saying Al-Azhar should not be the final reference on religious issues.

“We have the right to reply to that suggestion before the committee,” said Tayyeb, adding that Law 13/2012 confirmed Al-Azhar’s final reference and the responsibility of the imam in all matters relating to the affairs of Islam, its heritage and the Holy Quran.

While Tayyeb welcomed criticism, particularly from Parliament, he said Al-Azhar would not agree to be deprived of the status it has acquired over a thousand years in Egypt and the Islamic world, and to be transformed into a mere school of theology. “This will create a legislative vacuum and ideological chaos,” he said.

“The moderate thought of Al-Azhar spares Egypt the risk of chaos,” he added.

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