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Iranian cleric calls out Egypt's Al-Azhar for anti-Shiite activities

An Iranian grand ayatollah wrote an open letter to Al-Azhar regarding the university's anti-Shiite essay competition.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks with Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, Egypt's leading Sunni Muslim scholar at the historic al-Azhar mosque and university, in Cairo February 5, 2013. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was both kissed and scolded on Tuesday when he began the first visit to Egypt by an Iranian president since Tehran's 1979 Islamic revolution. The trip was meant to underline a thaw in relations since Egyptians elected an Islamist head of state, President Mohamed Mursi, last June. But it also highlighted dee

Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi wrote an open letter to Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University, warning him about the dangers of the recent anti-Shiite activities at the university.

Makarem Shirazi wrote that Al-Azhar has been a “bright spot” in the history of Islam, but he said that recent activities risk a “deviation at Al-Azhar from its moderate path.” He cited a number of recent events as the reason for his letter, such as an essay competition organized by the university to combat the spread of Shiite Islam in Muslim countries, comments by Tayeb that there was no need to have Shiites in parliament because there were no Shiites in Egypt “except a few peddlers of religion,” and the media attributing false beliefs to Shiite Muslims.

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