Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Egypt Picks New Grand Mufti, Elected By Al-Azhar For First Time

According to Ahram Online, in Egypt, yesterday President Mohamed Morsi officially approved Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim as the country's new Grand Mufti. Morsi's approval comes after the Senior Scholars Authority of Al-Azhar voted to elect Abdel-Karim. This is the first time Al-Azhar has been given this kind of input into the selection of a Grand Mufti, presumably reflecting the enhanced powers given to the Sunni religious institution in Egypt's new Constitution. (See prior posting.) In the past, the Grand Mufti was merely appointed by the President. The new Grand Mufti, whose term begins March 4, is an expert on Islamic Jurisprudence. Among his writings is a book on the political rights of Muslim women.