Students talk after finishing an exam in one of the Al-Azhar institutes in Cairo, Egypt, May 20, 2015. Picture taken May 20, 2015. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih
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Sisi deploys scholars to teach moderate IslamIn his battle against militant Islam, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi is relying not just on bomber planes and soldiers but on white-turbaned imams from Al-Azhar, Egypt's 1,000-year-old center for Islamic learning. In a televised speech in January at an Al-Azhar conference center in Cairo, Sisi called for "a religious revolution" in Islam.To be successful, Sisi will need to achieve what many before him have not: balancing tough security measures with education to encourage a more moderate version of Islam.Sisi was also bold enough to seize power from Morsi after the Brotherhood leader became increasingly unpopular.During the time of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's president for three decades until his overthrow in 2011, the grand imam was appointed by presidential decree.It has also publicly backed Sisi's crackdown on the Brotherhood and militants.Take the 18-year-old Al-Azhar student who goes by the nickname Abu Obeida al-Ansari.
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