Grand Mufti´s Al-Aksa Visit Raises Islamist Ire (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 04/19/12)
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Al-Azhar students and political activists in Egypt are calling for a
protest Friday in front of Al-Azhar´s administrative office after
Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa made a rare visit to Jerusalem Wednesday.
Al-Azhar students protested Wednesday in front of the Al-Azhar
student residence building for the same reason.
Gomaa´s visit was in honor of the inauguration of the Imam Ghazali
chair of Islamic studies under the auspices of the Jordanian Al-Bayt
The spokesman for Egypt´s powerful Muslim Brotherhood, Mahmoud
Ghozlan, told al-Arabiya the visit was "very strange."
"Muslim clerics have taken a position that there is no visiting
Jerusalem with continued Israeli occupation," Ghozlan said. "He
violated this opinion of the majority of clerics. Why, I don´t know."
Abdel-Akher Hamad, the leader of the more radical Al-Gamaa al-
Islamiyya, told the Associated Press the visit was a "challenge" to
He said Gomaa was "taking advantage" of Egypt´s turbulent political
scene to defy a national position.
He called the mufti a holdover from the era of ousted President Hosni
Mubarak and predicted Gomaa would not last in his position after a
new president is elected.
Gomaa was appointed by Mubarak in 2003 to be Egypt´s top religious
He heads Dar al-Ifta, an advisory body where Muslims go to seek a
religious opinion on anything from marriage rituals to commercial
As the top government-appointed cleric, Gomma also provides the state
with religious opinions.
"This visit only endorses the occupation," Hamad said. "But the
country is going through a tough time and it is not now that we
should call for his dismissal. After an elected president, all these
figures must be changed."
Earlier this month, noted the report, the Jordanian king´s half-
brother, Prince Hashim, paid a similar visit to Jerusalem. Jordan´s
Interior Minister Mohammad Raud also visited Jerusalem this week.
(IsraelNationalNews © 2012 04/19/12)
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