Gomaa later told Egyptian state TV of how he had taken haven behind a mosque wall when the shooting began. After the assault, he “directed the Friday petitions as a message to these individuals”, the priest said in a phone meeting. Gomaa was Egypt’s most senior Muslim priest for 10 years until 2013.
He emphatically upheld the armed force’s topple of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi that year and the resulting savage crackdown on his supporters. Since venturing down as mufti – the official mediator of Islamic law – Gomaa has stayed one of the nation’s top Islamic researchers.
He is for his moderate perspectives on religion however castigated by the Islamist resistance for his backing of the crackdown against them that has murdered several dissidents.