The religious legitimacy of the underground wall that Egypt is building along its border with the Gaza Strip is in the spotlight of this week's edition of the BBC Arabic discussion show, Agenda Maftouha (Open Agenda) at 19.10 GMT on Friday 8 January. The programme focuses on the controversy between Egypt’s Islamic Research Centre, Al-Azhar, on the one hand and the world’s other leading Islamic figures and authorities on the other, around the wall's compliance with Islamic principles.
Al-Azhar has issued a fatwa (Islamic edict), ruling that the construction of the wall between Egypt and Gaza falls within Egypt’s right to defend its territory, and is thus in line with Islamic teachings. However other influential Islamic institutions across the Middle East have contested that ruling, criticising Egypt’s decision as inconsistent with Islamic principles.
BBC Arabic hosts a discussion around the controversy and looks at the role of fatwas in politics and their impact on the lives of Muslims. This edition’s guests include Abdel Muati Bayoumi, member of Egypt’s Islamic Research Centre, Sheikh Sayed Askar, member of the Religious Affairs Committee within the Egyptian Parliament, Dr Hamdi Mourad, the Jordanian Islamic thinker and researcher and Dr Al Mahdi Said, the Iraqi political scientist.
Agenda Maftouha is a weekly programme offering an in-depth exploration of a single issue, delving beneath the headlines to examine the undercurrents behind them, and bringing a wide range of perspectives to the issue at hand. Broadcast on Fridays at 19.10 GMT, it is repeated on Saturdays at 13.10 GMT.