Egyptian authorities order imams to deliver identical pre-written sermons

Egyptian authorities announced yesterday that imams would be required to deliver identical pre-written Friday sermons as part of the Sisi regime’s campaign against “extremism”.

Since 2014, the ministry of religious endowments has been providing imams with topics for their Friday sermons for jummah prayers but the latest move restricts preachers across Egypt to reading from the same script.

“No one disagreed during the meeting (of officials on Tuesday) and all the undersecretaries received the new instructions on pre-written unified sermons without incident,” said the ministry’s First Undersecretary for Qalyubiya province Sabry Dowaidar.

“The minister (Mohamed Gomaa) said he would start with himself and deliver the pre-written sermon (in a mosque) next Friday.”

An undersecretary from a different province who requested anonymity said the sermons would be written by ministry officials and senior clerics from Al-Azhar University, the thousand-year-old Islamic institution whose leadership backed the brutal crackdown of Muslim Brotherhood protesters in Rabaa Al-Adawiya.

Members of parliament on the House Committee on Religious Affairs would contribute too, as would sociologists and psychologists.

Officials say the move will force imams to comply with a suitable time limit and ensure they do not “lose their train of thought”.

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