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 Updated: April 10, 2013

Inquiry at Al-Azhar for being Shia

By: Mohamed Ali

CAIRO, Egypt: Reports said that a female student at the Al-Azhar College for Girls in Assiut is facing an investigation to ascertain if she is a Shia Muslim or not.

According to state-affiliated news agency Al-Ahram Mahmoud Shehata, dean of the college, confirmed that the student has been referred to the legal affairs department adding that if she is found to be a Shia then legal action will be taken against her.

Shehata also confirmed that the director of the girl’s dormitories Magda Thabit has been relieved of her duties following complaints filed by a number of students, reported Al-Ahram.

Malek Adly, a lawyer for the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights, said that there is no law stating that this student, if found to be Shia, could face legal action.

“Under the constitution the state has a responsibility to protect her. We will see what happens,” he said. “We currently have a fundamentalist government and institutions like these are allied with them. The government has an Islamic project. What is this? I do not know and I am a Muslim. It is just fundamentalism,” he added.

Doaa Aboul Nasr, a reporter in Assiut, told Daily News Egypt that the investigation carried out by the college involved asking the accused student to perform the ablutions for prayer and demonstrate how she prays. Aboul Nasr reported that the girl acquiesced to their request.


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