Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi visits sick students in hospital
A senior cleric from Egypt's top religious authority, al-Azhar University, has accused the government of "humiliating and insulting" Sunni scholars.
Sheikh Ahmed Karima made
the remarks in a interview with al-Arabiya TV's Panorama programme.His comments came after the university's president, Osama al-Abd was sacked after hundreds of students suffered food poisoning on Monday.
The institution issued a statement from the supreme council on its official website calling for elections to be held within two weeks.
Sheikh Karima said: "Al-Azhar has never been insulted like it was today, not from the French, the Brits, not from the Turks, not from the Mamaleek."
He paid tribute to the dismissed el-Abd, claiming that the ex-president had managed the university on his own with little resources and amid student protests.
"Osama al-Abed has worked hard during tough times, he had no deputies for the past seven months, he has managed the university on his own," he explained.
The cleric accused the Brotherhood of exploiting the food poisoning incident, saying: “The escalation of the situation has nothing to do with the poisoning of students’ stomachs but the poisoning of students’ brains.”
He said the Brotherhood is bribing students and the Salafists were working hard to influence the students’ way of thinking.
Around 500 students were hospitalised on Monday after eating at a cafeteria on the al-Azhar campus.
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi visited some of the ill students in hospital on Tuesday morning.
Thousands of students marched on Wednesday afternoon from the campus in Nasr City to al-Azhar Sheikhdom in Cairo's Darrasa district. They chanted against the university's president and management.
The last of the students were discharged from hospital on Wednesday, an official at Al-Azhar confirmed.