Jordan tightens control over mosques

Jordanian parliament has moved to tighten state control over mosque preachers, adding a provision to a bill to require prior written approval from the government before someone enters the pulpit.

    The bill will replace legislation enacted in 1986

    Sunday's changes came just three weeks after members of the lower house of parliament approved the law that aims to prevent the kingdom's mosques from being used to propagate extremist ideas.

    But the senate, appointed by the country's ruler, King Abdullah II, tightened it even further and sent it back to the elected lower house, which endorsed the changes in a vote of acclamation on Sunday.

    Abdullah, the ultimate authority in Jordan, is expected to sign the bill into law soon, replacing legislation enacted in 1986.

    The latest changes to the legislation require that the religious affairs minister approve in writing any new mosque preachers and anyone teaching the Quran, the Islamic holy book, in mosques.

    Under the bill, violators face penalties of up to one month in prison and a fine of $142.

    Jordanian MPs have approved several pieces of legislation in recent weeks that aim to weaken extremists and prevent terror attacks.



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