Mubarak names successor to late Al-Azhar cleric: Report
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Last Updated: Friday, March 19, 2010, 18:28
Cairo: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Friday appointed a new head of Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's most prestigious institution, after the death of its top cleric last week, the official MENA agency reported.

Mubarak, who is recovering from surgery in Germany, "has issued a presidential decree appointing Sheikh Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed al-Tayeb to head Al-Azhar," MENA reported.

Tayeb, the president of Al-Azhar University since 2003, succeeds Grand Imam Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, who died of a heart attack in Saudi Arabia on March 10.

Al-Azhar institution -- which groups a 10th century mosque, a university and several affiliated schools -- is Sunni Islam's highest seat of learning. Its role is to propagate Islamic teachings and culture around the world.

French-educated Tayeb also held the post of Grand Mufti, the country's most senior Islamic scholar, until September 2003.

Since 1961, the grand imam of Al-Azhar has been appointed by presidential decree, opening up the post to criticism of being too close to the government.


First Published: Friday, March 19, 2010, 18:28

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