Sufi leaders call on Mubarak to limit grand sheikh term

Sufi leaders on Saturday urged President Hosni Mubarak to limit the term of the grand sheikh of Sufi orders. The leaders also publicly expressed their disapproval of the presidential appointment of Abdel Hady al-Qasaby as grand sheikh.

During a press conference held at the headquarters of the Shahawiya order in Cairo where the statements were made, the Sufi leaders announced the formation of a new front called “Reformation and the Sufi rescue.”

“The front has contacted the 46 sheikhs of other Sufi orders to join the front in order to correct the legal situation which is affected by the appointment of al-Qasaby as the head of the Supreme Council for Sufi Orders,” one Sufi leader said.

“The front has formed a delegation to convince al-Qasaby to stick to the Sufi orders’ law, which stipulates holding elections every three years,” said the sheikh of the al-Sharnoubeya order, Mohamed Abdel Maguid al-Sharnouby.

Twelve high Sufi sheikhs previously filed a lawsuit at the administrative court calling for a grand sheikh term limit.

Sufi leaders at the press conference called on Sufi sheikhs and followers to join them in reforming the Sufi community, while alleging al-Qasaby was ill-fit for the position because of his narrow Arabic language background as well as deficient religious science education.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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