Al-Azhar Uni. bans political protests
Osama al-Abd, the president of Al-Azhar University - YOUM7/Ahmed Maarof

CAIRO:  President of Al-Azhar University Osama el-Abd said Wednesday that political protests are “completely unacceptable” and prohibited inside the University grounds, reported Youm7.

Abd added during the press conference that peaceful protests would be guaranteed for all students but that the university was “a sanctuary for science, not a square for protest.”

Mostafa Sayed, dean of the Arabic Language Faculty, told The Cairo Post that the protest ban was “not discussed” during the university board meeting held prior to the press conference.

The Wednesday meeting only discussed the beginning of the semester, setting March 15 as the first day of the term and rejecting any further delays to students moving in to campus housing, added Sayed.

Although Abdeen Court for Urgent Matters ruled Dec. 30 to ban protests inside universities unless a permit is received from the president of the university, the first semester was punctuated by protests and demonstrations.

Abd’s latest announcement suggests that he would not grant permits to political protests; however, many demonstrations at the university last semester, some of them violent, were not officially sanctioned by the president.

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