The grand imam of Al-Azhar University Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb has sacked the varsity's president, Ahmed Hosni Taha, after the latter had labelled a controversial Egyptian writer an apostate.
The internationally renowned Egypt-based varsity, in a statement yesterday, said the grand imam had replaced Ahmed Hosni by appointing Arabic Language Faculty dean Mohammed Mahrasawi as acting president effective immediately, pending the appointment of a permanent successor.
"The decision was made two days after the remarks by Ahmed Hosni on Egyptian writer, Islam Al-Behairy as apostate in a television programme on Wednesday," it said.
Ahmed Hosni had claimed the writer had stirred controversy by giving a religious view in the 'With Islam' television programme and for attacking some of the founding scholars of Islamic law.
According to the statement, the decision was made as the remarks by Ahmed Hosni had derailed from the real 'manhaj' (methodology of receiving, analysing and applying knowledge) of the Al-Azhar University.
On July 31, 2016, the Egypt High Court had sentenced Islam Al-Behairy to a year in prison for insulting the religion but was released in November last year after he was granted a presidential pardon.