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Al-Azhar’s imam faces hostile media campaign

Al-Azhar Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb is facing a campaign of persecution and media blockade in an attempt by the state to push him to renege on his positions.

CAIRO — Egypt’s Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, has been facing, since the end of January, a fierce campaign spearheaded by Egyptian media outlets owned by and close to the state.

This follows a verbal duel that stirred nationwide controversy between Tayeb and Cairo University President Mohamed Othman Elkhosht, who is close to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, during the second day of a conference at Al-Azhar, titled “Al-Azhar International Conference on Renovation of Islamic Thought.” The conference, held on Jan. 27-28, focused on renewing the religious discourse. The conference was attended by delegates and scholars from 46 countries of the Islamic world.

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