EGYPT  MOVING  FORWARD – major step in the right direction……………THE “ARAB Spring” has prompted the Sunni Muslim world’s most venerable institution of religious learning to issue a declaration of independence from the Egyptian government and to state it supports demands raised by uprisings in the Arab world.

An 11-article document written by clerics and learned laymen was revealed in a televised address by the grand imam of Cairo’s Al-Azhar University and the Sunni community’s most senior cleric, Ahmad el-Tayeb.

While extending support to the “civil” state incorporating Islamic principles and relying on Islamic jurisprudence, he said: “Islam has never, throughout its history, experienced such a thing as a religious or theocratic state.”  Such states had generally been autocratic and inflicted suffering on humanity, he said.The document and Sheikh Tayeb’s comments amount a to major challenge to the Muslim Brotherhood and other religious parties that seek to turn Egypt into an “Islamic state” and who have reservations about equal rights for Coptic Christians and women.   Known as one of the most moderate and progressive Sunni clerics in Egypt, Sheikh Tayeb has long been a critic of the conservative brotherhood.

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