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

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    We travel more than 2,000km and visit communities along the route of the oil pipeline that cuts across Indigenous land.

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.