Qatari daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi reports that His Excellency the ‘Great Imam’ shaikh of Al-Azhar went to Dubai last week by private plane. He was to receive the Dubai Holy Quran International Prize (WTF that be). He is reported to have received the award as “Islamic Personality of the Year” as a reward for his efforts in the service of Islam (WTF they be). It does not say if he is rewarded for siding with the military coup that overthrew the elected Muslim Brotherhood presidency of Mohammed Morsi in July 2013, nor if he was awarded for siding with Hosni Mubarak during the uprising of 2011. As I noted in a recent post here, he was bound to win the prize.
This is news to most people, the fact that now Shaikh Dr. Al Tayeb calls himself the “Great Imam”, or is it the “Grand Imam”? Apparently the Al Azhar bureaucracy and its hierarchy are now copying some of the Shi’a (Shi’ite if you prefer) titles like Grand Ayatollah, etc. It is now not too fat-fetched that Dr. Shaikh Al Tayeb will pop out some day with the title “Grand Ayatollah” of Al Azhar, possibly earned from one of them ubiquitous online for-profit theology colleges.
Now what would their Wahhabi allies and financiers in Riyadh think of all this? A Grand Ayatollah leading Al Azhar, just as its original creators of the Fatimid Dynasty had intended? Thus undoing the military coup of Salah El Din Al Ayyoubi (Saladin) who overthrew his Fatimids bosses and benefactors long before Al Sisi overthrew his Morsi boss and benefactor. Saladin did atone for it later by liberating Jerusalem from the European barbarians. No wonder there are complaints, warnings, and fears about the spread of Shi’ism in Egypt. No wonder the military regime and its Salafi and Wahhabi-Liberal allies ban Bahrain activists and Iranian tourists from coming to Egypt. It can be risky. Look, even the recently Wahhabi-ized Al Azhar shaikhs are adopting Shi’a titles now. Soon they might start allowing Shi’a mosques and Husseiniyyas all over Cairo. Who knows, some day we might see Al Sisi playing Shimr, or maybe even Al-Hurr, in a re-enactment a Shi’a passion play about the Battle of Karbala.
And our princes and pals on the Persian-American Gulf had thought their man Al Sisi had come to power and was generously rewarded in order to stop all that.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum