Nour Party contradicts Salafi Call over the Endowment Ministry’s decision
The Ministry of Religious Endowment - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Nour Party’s stance contradicts with the Salafi Call (al-Da’wa al-Salafiyya)  over the Endowment Ministry’s decision to ban non-Azhar scholars to take the stands in mosques during Eid al-Fitr unless they are licensed from the ministry to deliver sermons.

The Salafi Call expressed their displeasure with the ministry’s decision, saying that senior Salafist preachers were prevented from delivering sermons in mosques during Eid al-Fitr. At the same time, Nour Party which was founded by the Salafist call in 2011, welcomed the decision  and thanked the ministry for its performance.

On June 29, Endowment Minister Mokhtar Gomaa announced the honor code of preaching, setting ground rules to keep political issues out of sermons to all who preach.The code allows some Salafi preachers to give sermons while banning others.

Salafi Call and the Salafist Nour Party are conducting now a number of visits to the Minister of Endowement and Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb in an attempt to acquire more licenses in order to deliver sermons in mosques during the forthcoming period, a Salafist  source told Youm7 Wednesday. Both sides discussed the effect the decision has on people as well as ways of facing Takfiri ideology, the source added.

The source added that the decision was applied to Yasser Borhami, a leading member of the Salafi Call, and that he could not deliver Friday sermons now. Borhami submitted a formal request to the Ministry of Endowment for a license to deliver Friday sermons.

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.

Secretary General of the Nour Party Galal Mara thanked Endowment Minister Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa and all the ministry’s employees on their significant performance during Eid prayers and their keenness to follow up on the Eid prayer, adding that “everything has gone perfectly during this year’s  Eid al-Fitr prayer.”

“It would be in the best interest of the Egyptian State for the ministry to achieve more progress in the next stage,” Mara added.

However, the Salafist call’s spokesperson Ali Hatem denounced the Ministry’s decision, saying that it aims at restricting preaching in mosques and that such decisions contradict with Egypt’s interest in light of the spread of terrorist ideology and extremist groups such as the ISIS (DAASH) Terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.

“Takfiri thoughts will not be eliminated if Salafist Call’s supporters did not fight them,” said Hatem, who added that supporters of the Salafist call learned how to differentiate between faith and disbelief.

He further emphasized that “Endowment imams cannot confront Takfiri thoughts alone.”

The Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs warned mosques against delivering any political messages during their Eid holiday sermons concerning the up-coming parliamentary elections in a statement on July 20.

“The speech shouldn’t include any political context, as it should be framed by the religious occasion of the feast,” the ministry said.

The Cabinet adopted May 29 a bill limiting religious preaching at mosques to Azhar scholars authorized by the Endowment Minister.

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