Deputy Al-Azhar University President Mohamed Mahmoud Abu Hashim has threatened to resort to the courts in protest against the decision of Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb to appoint Mohamed al-Mahrasawy, currently dean of the Al-Azhar University’s Faculty of Arabic Language, as acting president of the university, instead of himself.
Mahrasawy succeeds Ahmed Hosni, who was dismissed after describing the Islamic researcher Islam al-Beheiry as an ‘apostate’ (kafir).
In remarks on Sunday, Abu Hashim said Tayyeb overlooked his seniority, passing him up for the appointment, whereas he is the eldest deputy of the president; adding that the law stipulates designating the eldest deputy as the acting president by a presidential decision.
Abu Hashim indicated his intentions to file an official complaint against Al-Azhar to the court of urgent matters in case his preliminary complaint was ignored.
Informed sources said the university faculty members club was mulling the decision of staging a protest in solidarity with Abu Hashim.
Meanwhile, other sources from Al-Azhar said it is not true that Tayyeb overlooked Abu Hashim in appointing another acting president; adding that Mahrasawy’s appointment is legal and that Tayyeb used his powers to temporarily appoint an acting president until official measures are taken.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm