Ahmed Hosni - Archive/Mohamed al-Hosary Ahmed Hosni - Archive/Mohamed al-Hosary

Al-Azhar University President dismissed over TV anchor charges

Sat, May. 6, 2017
CAIRO – 6 May 2017: Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb dismissed Al-Azhar University President Ahmed Hosni from his duties after the latter charged T.V. Anchor Islam Beheiry with apostasy, according to a statement issued on Friday by the Al-Azhar Sheikhdom, considered by many as one of the most prestigious bodies of Islamic jurisprudence in the world.

Al-Tayeb appointed Mohamed Hussein al-Mahrsawi, Arabic Language Studies Faculty dean, to be in charge of the university presidency duties starting on Saturday, until the election of a new President. Al-Tayeb has sent President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi the name of the coming chairperson.

In an interview with Al-Masry Afandi 360 talk show on private T.V. channel Al Kahera Wal Nas on Wednesday, Hosni said, “Islam Beheiry is a man who has a popular T.V. program, which is watched by many people… what has been said during his program includes contempt of religion… he criticizes the Faqīhs (Islamic Jurists) of Islam like Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malek, Imam Al-Shafi‘i, and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal…how he accuses those people (imams) of lying… he apostatized because he denies what is known in the religion.”

However, Hosni, who was appointed in February as the University President, apologized to Beheiry who accepted the apology. Beheiry told 90 Minutes talk show on Thursday that Hosni, as a University President, should know the religious meaning of the term “apostasy”.

Beheiry has served a one-year prison term, which has been commuted from a sentence of five-year imprisonment, over charges of contempt of Islam in 2016. In his suspended show “With Islam”, which used to be aired on Al Kahera Wal Nas, Beheiry questioned the credibility of sources of Hadith (Prophet Mohammad’s sayings), the second basic reference for Islamic teachings after the Quran.
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