Egypt standardises Muslim sermons

2016-07-15 18:59
Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. (File, AFP)

Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. (File, AFP)

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Cairo - Egypt has launched a program of having Muslim clerics read a standardised government-written sermon at Friday prayers, a move by the state to tighten control over religious discourse.

The Minister for Religious Endowments, Mokhtar Gomaa, gave the first such set sermon on Friday at Cairo's Amr ibn al-As Mosque. He read from a paper a sermon against corruption, titled "Bad money is a lethal poison."

Over the past three years, the ministry gave clerics outlines of subjects for their sermons during weekly communal prayers. Now a committee of state-hired scholars will write each week's sermon for clerics to read word-for-word.

Gomaa defended the move as aimed at filtering out extremism and promoting reform. However, critics say it is a new move by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's rule to stifle freedom of expression.

Read more on:    egypt

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