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Azhar governing body accepts Qaradawi’s resignation

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi had accused al-Azhar of supporting the military-backed authorities

Published: Updated:

The governing body of Cairo’s al-Azhar institution accepted on Monday the resignation request of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who decided to quit after accusing the top Sunni seat of learning of supporting Egypt's military-installed government.

Abbas Shouman, the secretary general of Azhar’s council of clerics, said Azhar’s Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb did not vote on accepting Qaradawi’s resignation.

“A fair Imam shouldn’t participate in taking such a decision against the person who attacked him personally so he doesn’t seem like taking revenge,” Shouman quoted Sheikh Tayyeb as saying.

In his resignation letter last week, Qaradwi accused Sheikh Tayyeb of “abusing the authority of the office to support the military coup,” according to AFP.

Egyptian-born Qaradawi, who has been based in Qatar since he was stripped of his citizenship decades ago, has been an outspoken critic of the army's July 3 ouster of Islamist president Mohammad Mursi.

The cleric, who retains huge influence, issued a religious edict, or fatwa, calling on Egyptians to restore Mursi to “his legitimate post.”

“We have waited for the sheikh of al-Azhar to return to the correct path and to disassociate himself from the tyrant regime,” he said in Monday's posting.

Qaradawi, now 86, was jailed several times in the 1950s under the rule of president Gamal Abdel Nasser and left for Qatar in 1961.

He returned to the land of his birth 50 years later and led mass prayers in Cairo's Tahrir Square shortly after president Hosni Mubarak was forced out in February 2011 in the face of the mass protests of the Arab Spring.

(With AFP)