CAIRO: Politicians will be prohibited from delivering Friday sermons in mosques even if they hold a PhD from Al-Azhar University, the Endowment Ministry announced in a Sunday press statement, adding that preachers would be required to take a license from the ministry to deliver sermons.
Sources told Youm7 that the decision would apply to Yasser Borhami, a leading member of Salafi Call, and that he would not be permitted to deliver Friday sermons.
Borhami submitted a formal request to the Ministry of Endowment for a license to deliver Friday sermons.
“We, as the Salafi Call, agree with the ministry. I was keen to commit to the administrative rules drafted by the ministry,” he told Youm7.
Borhami had recently issued a number of fatwas (religious opinions) raising a state of controversy among scholars and ordinary people. In April, he issued a fatwa allowing men to abandon their raped wives to protect themselves from danger. He also called on Muslims to refrain from congratulating Copts during Easter, describing them as disbelievers.
In an interview on Orbit satellite channel, Azhar University’s Dr. Saad al-Din al-Helaly said a person who issues such fatwas, referring to Borhami, would be unfit to deliver Friday sermons, adding that such fatwas tarnish the reputation of preachers.
Coptic activist Naguib Gabriel had filed a lawsuit against Borhami on April 27 accusing him of insulting Christianity. He said in a statement on MBC satellite channel that Borhami’s statements incite sectarian violence.
Borhami had described the Christian Easter as a heretical feast, calling on Muslims to not congratulate Copts during their religious holidays.