Egypt: Al-Sisi versus the Sheikhs resistance to renew Islam: ‘You wear me out’

The Muslim Issue

Egypt’s clerics are resisting the president’s call to renew Islam

Reforming Islam in Egypt

Sisi versus the sheikhs

The Economist
Feb 16th 2017 | CAIRO

FEW Egyptians dare challenge Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, their authoritarian president. But one institution has stood up to him. “You wear me out,” Mr Sisi reportedly told Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand imam of Cairo’s al-Azhar University, last month.

It has been over two years since Mr Sisi, an observant Muslim, lamented that some of his co-religionists were becoming “a source of worry, fear, danger, murder and destruction to all the world”. He urged Egyptian clerics to push back against the jihadists of Islamic State (IS). Egypt itself was a victim, he said: angry Islamists have attacked the government and an affiliate of IS battles the army in Sinai. To combat such extremism, “a religious revolution” was needed, said Mr Sisi—and al-Azhar, the Sunni world’s oldest seat…

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