Gov’t Islamic mission to be established in Kerdasa MB stronghold
Minister of Religious Endowments Mokhtar Gomaa - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: An Islamic mission center (Da’wah) of the Ministry of Religious Endowment will be established in Kerdasa, a blue-collar town in Giza and a stronghold of the Muslim Brotherhood, to “control violence” in the area, Youm7 reported Sunday.

Kerdasa hosts some 210 mosques; imams of all mosques in Egypt must be licensed beforehand by the ministry, which also predetermines their weekly sermons. The regulations came in the wake of the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi and after decades of grassroots activities by the banned Brotherhood.

The Ministry of Endowment is under the jurisdiction of Al-Azhar, the largest Sunni religious institute in the world, and its Da’wah administrations aim to teach “moderate and correct” Islamic principles. Twenty-seven Egyptian governorates are home to 362 Da’wah centers, according to Youm7.

Al-Azhar has intensified its efforts to both “correct” the image of Islam after the surge of “terrorist ideologies” and to teach Muslim youth the “true essence” of their religion to curb their recruitment by radical groups.

Kerdasa witnessed some of the worst attacks across Egypt by Islamists following the violent dispersal of the Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-ins in August 2013.  As hundreds of protesters died at the hands of the police in Cairo, 11 officers were killed in Kerdasa and their bloodied bodies were mutilated and dragged through the streets. Videos of the officers’ mutilated corpses were posted to YouTube in the wake of the incident.

A total of 188 defendants were sentenced to death in a subsequent trial over the killings; their verdict, which was condemned by the European Union and human rights organizations, will be appealed.


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