Member of the Egyptian parliament Mohammed Abu Hamed insisted on filing his new proposed law for Al-Azhar, despite a hail of criticism against the proposal. “The law wasn’t withdrawn, because it wasn’t filed in the first place,” Abu Hamed told Daily News Egypt on Thursday.
The proposed law seeks to limit the Grand Imam’s term in office to six years, adding that he can only be elected for two terms. According to the proposed law, sanctions could be imposed on the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, and he could be ousted if he infringed his duties.
The draft law calls for separating non-religious faculties from Al-Azhar University to form a new non-religious university, named Imam Mohammed Abdu University. At least four women should be members in Al-Azhar’s Committee of Senior Scholars, the draft law reads.
According to Abu Hamed, the proposed law is constitutional and was sent to the other members in the parliament to read, adding that several of them approved the proposal in the beginning; however, a number of them recently revoked their approval.
“All objections to the draft law are about generalities and not the core of the law,” Abu Hamed said.
In the general session of the Egyptian parliament on Monday, parliament speaker Ali Abdul Aal expressed the parliament’s appreciation of the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and the institution. He said that the proposed law was eliminated due to “being constitutionally flawed” and that “discussions about this topic should be closed,” according to state-owned media.
The proposed law has aroused strong opposition from members of the parliament’s legislation and religion committees, who rejected it on various grounds.