The Egyptian Ministry of Awqaf tightened its grip on imams of mosques and terminated the service of 10, preventing them from delivering sermons, adding that the measures aim to control the religious discourse away from extremism, according to a ministry source.
The ministry issued directives to all mosques in Egypt, preventing them from enabling or supporting the 10 dismissed imams and prevent them from preaching ahead of the public.
It asserted that it will not hesitate to terminate the services of any person who is affiliated or associated with any terrorist group or commit a crime against the homeland, asserting that it relies on the judicial rulings in such cases.
The Awqaf has already taken control of mosques belonging to the fundamentalists and prevented anyone from collecting donations inside or around mosques. It also unified Friday sermons to avoid the discussion of political matters.
The source told Asharq Al-Awsat, that the ministry has already warned imams and preachers in mosques against belonging to any organization or group, so as not to affect their independence in advocacy work, which addresses the public interest.
Awqaf Minister Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa asserted that the preservation of the pulpit and the dissemination of the true religion is an issue of religious and national security. He added that the authorities will not tolerate those who violate the instructions issued by the Ministry.
On previous several occasions, Egyptian authorities have tried to tighten control over the mosques and developed a law for rhetoric, which limited delivering the sermons and lessons in the mosques to imams of al-Azhar, and announced it will fine or imprison anyone who violates those conditions.