CAIRO: A number of non-Azhar certified Islamic figures have refused a recent “honor charter” which restricts preaching to those holding Azhar certification, and bans any mention of politics in sermons.
“As a result of this charter many figures and competent sheikhs are banned from preaching,” said Salafist Call member Sheikh Ali Hatem in an article published in Al-Wady.
Former President Adly Mansour adopted a decree June 5 limiting religious preaching at mosques to Al-Azhar scholars authorized by the ministry. The law sets forth a prison term of one to 12 months and a fine of 20,000 to 50,000 EGP ($2,790 to $6,900) for delivering a religious lesson or sermon without a license.
Minister of Religious Endowments Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa told Aker-El Nahar TV show last month, that he would not allow anyone to climb the pulpit and talk about politics.
“Islamic issues should stay away from politics and political conflicts, especially after the June 30 revolution” undersecretary of the ministry, Sabry Ebada, told Salet El Tahrir TV show last Monday.
Manager of The Arabian Center for Integrity and Transparency, Shehata Mohamed, told The Cairo Post that “no one has the right to object to the recently issued charter,” because it “shuts the door to political Islam that caused confusion during the past period.”
“This intelligent decision that I support personally will enable us to find the error, and discipline whoever make a mistake, I has been always the ruler’s responsibility to choose religious men and preachers who work for the state. This is the right way to manage,” he added.