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Down with Shari’a in the constitution

With every semblance of what is commonly referred to as “the civil forces” (the church representatives, the secular parties and members) withdrawn from it, the Egyptian Constituent Assembly’s fate seems more precarious than ever. While many speculate about its fate and the fate of the constitution it is supposed to present to the public soon, …

Mahmoud Salem

Azhar says no punitive action against Mufti despite refusal of normalization

By Heba Hesham CAIRO: Members of the Islamic Research Center (IRC) decided Thursday not to take any punitive measures against the Grand Mufti after listening to his explanation regarding a recent visit to Jerusalem. However, the IRC said they remain committed to their rejection of any visit to Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque under the Israeli …

DNE

Azhar withdraws from constitution panel

By AFP CAIRO: Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s highest authority, said on Thursday it was withdrawing from a disputed panel dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood to draft a new constitution, following the example of liberals. Al-Azhar said in a statement that it was under-represented in the constituent assembly which the Islamist-majority parliament appointed to draft the new …

DNE

Scholars call for inclusion of all beliefs in Azhar document as others slam it

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO: While experts hailed an Al-Azhar document issued last month, labeling it a step toward restoring the Islamic institution’s status, they expressed some reservations during a press conference Wednesday. Scholars said the document should include rights of atheists and beliefs other than Christianity and Judaism, while others criticized the document for stripping Egypt …

DNE

Cabinet, political powers hail Azhar’s call for democratic state

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO: Egypt’s Cabinet and different political powers hailed an Al-Azhar document calling for a “modern, democratic” and secular state in Egypt. Deputy Prime Minister Yehia El-Gamal commended the document in the Cabinet’s 16th meeting on Wednesday, describing it as one of the most important charters issued to date. Members of the Cabinet and …

DNE

Muslim body urges ‘modern’ secular Egypt

By AFP CAIRO: Egypt’s Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s top center of religious learning, called on Monday for a “modern, democratic” and secular state in Egypt where places of worship are protected. The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed Al-Tayeb, in a news conference broadcast live, revealed a document formulated by Al-Azhar and Egyptian intellectuals that aims to …

DNE

Azhar-Church initiative holds guidance sessions for Copts wishing to convert

By Essam Fadl CAIRO: An Azhar-led initiative to combat sectarian strife decided on Sunday to reinitiate the guidance sessions held for Copts wishing to convert to Islam which are to be held at Al-Azhar and attended by a Coptic clergyman and a family member of the person wishing to convert. These sessions were prohibited by the …

DNE

Al-Azhar says grand sheikh should be elected not state appointed

By Tamim Elyan CAIRO: Al-Azhar said Wednesday that its Grand Sheikh should be elected not appointed by the state, insisting that its independence wasn’t compromised during the revolution that toppled the president. At a press conference, Al-Azhar’s Grand Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb said this prestigious religious institution didn’t butter up the ousted regime. “Al-Azhar is a …

DNE

Suicide is against Islam: Al-Azhar

By AFP CAIRO: Egypt’s Al-Azhar, the most prestigious centre of religious learning in the Sunni Muslim world, said on Tuesday that Islam bans suicide for any reason. “Sharia law states that Islam categorically forbids suicide for any reason and does not accept the separation of souls from bodies as an expression of stress, anger or …

DNE

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