Egypt moves to censor sermons

The Egyptian government is considering a move to control what imams preach at mosques in Friday sermons.

    Husni Mubarak (r) has cracked down on Muslim groups since the September 11 attacks on the US

    The move is being seen as a bid to stamp out subversion and anti-government activity in the country.

    Sources said on Monday that: "The ministry is examining a proposal to co-ordinate the content of sermons by telling imams what they should preach on Fridays in the 71,800 mosques answerable to the Ministry of Religious Endowments."

    An official at Cairo's Al Azhar university,the highest authority in Sunni Islam, said the Egyptian government "has been considering the sermon question for two months".

    'Preventing extremism'

    "They want to prevent extremism or incitements against the regime of President Husni Mubarak," another source said.

    Al-Azhar's Muhammad

    Tantawi
    controls sermon content in many
    Egyptian mosques  

    Egypt has exerted tight control over the country's mosques for several years, but there are thousands outside its direct jurisdiction.

    Many were set up under former president Anwar al-Sadat who introduced tax exemptions for those who opened mosques in homes.

    Muslim preachers, some of them belonging to the now banned Muslim Brotherhood, often used these private prayer houses to voice anti-government messages.

    Egypt has been under martial law since Sadat was assassinated in 1981.

    The law gives the government extensive powers to arrest and detain people for extended periods without charge.

    Egypt has been accused by human rights organisations of abusing these powers to crack down on Islamic opposition groups. 

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    Why a hipster, vegan, green tech economy is not sustainable

    Why a hipster, vegan, green tech economy is not sustainable

    Improving eco-efficiency within a capitalist growth-oriented system will not save the environment.