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Egyptian Islamic scholar buried in Medina

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Egyptian Islamic scholar buried in Medina

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Egyptian scholar Sheikh Mohamed Sayed Tantawi has been buried in Medina.

The 81 year old died of a heart attack on Wednesday, while on a visit to Saudi Arabia.

Tantawi was the head of Egypt’s most prestigious seat of Islamic learning, al-Azhar.

The organisation runs schools and universities across Egypt, as well as sending scholars to teach in other Muslim countries.

His deputy will take charge, before President Hosni Mubarak appoints a new head.

Known for his liberal views, he took charge of al-Azhar in 1996. During his tenure, he represented the more moderate side of Islam – such as opposing the wearing of the full veil or ‘niqab’.

Last year, he banned the practice in schools run by the organisation.