CAIRO: Egypt’s ministry of endowments has approved a request by imams preaching in mosques to form their own union, state media reported on Thursday.
Endowments Minister Abdallah Al-Husseini agreed to the measure after weeks of protests by imams who have been demanding job reforms including better pay and more resources, the state-owned daily Al-Gomhuria reported.
The move comes as imams who were expelled by a branch of the police — the state security investigations (SSI) that was dissolved after a popular uprising ousted president Hosni Mubarak — are demanding to be reinstated.
The SSI, an interior ministry branch that monitored political dissent and was long accused of corruption and torture, also picked imams.
Shortly after he was appointed in March, Interior Minister Mansour El-Essawy said the authorities would no longer choose mosque imams or university heads, as part of moves to turn the country from a police state to a democratic one.