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
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.