Egyptian government tightens grip on mosques
The Egyptian government is ramping up efforts to decrease Muslim Brotherhood influence over mosques, Reuters reports.
The government has approved and issued licenses to over 17,000 clerics to give Friday sermons. Government officials say this is an attempt to keep mosques out of the hands of extremists. Most of these state-approved clerics have been trained at Al Azhar University and institutions run by The Ministry of Religious Endowments.
“That is to strengthen the ministry’s supervision over all Egypt’s mosques so that they do not fall into the hands of extremists and the unqualified,” said a statement from the prime minister’s office Thursday.
According to Reuters, roughly 12,000 preachers were not approved and have been forced to leave their positions. The Minister of Religious Endowments said he hopes to remove over 50,000 more unlicensed clerics in the near future.
The military backed government has cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood since the ouster of President Mohammad Morsi.