The Ministry of Religious Endowments announced the guidelines for mosque preachers to follow at the unified Friday sermon, with the topic discussing the “importance of the Suez Canal”.
The sermon’s text, which is published on the ministry’s website, related the digging of the canal with the invasions of the Muslim Prophet Mohamed. The Ministry of Religious Endowments has announced a ban on any cleric affiliated to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, or who has been proven to have not followed the unified sermon guidelines for giving sermons or lessons at mosques.
The guidelines, of which Daily News Egypt acquired a copy, started by mentioning religious sayings of the Prophet and Quranic verses that promote work values and the importance of labour, agriculture, and trade. They went on to describe how Islam encourages development and civilisation. “Development means asking for more,” the guidelines said describing modern economic practices.
“Economic activity in Islam is based on achieving economic development. Thus, the Islamic Shari’a focused on economic issues, and emphasised that Muslims save money, work, invest, and build new projects,” the guidelines said.
Almost all of Egypt’s state institutions are continuing their preparations to prepare for and support the internationally-awaited Suez Canal project opening next Thursday. The New Suez Canal project will be officially opened in Ismailia on 6 August, in an opening ceremony that has drawn attention worldwide.
The new Suez Canal project was launched in August 2014 by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, who referred to it as a national project. The Ministry of Religious Endowments is a close supporter of the Egyptian regime, adopting President Al-Sisi’s cause to “renew religious discourse”.
In many cases the Friday sermon has been announced to propagate similar rhetoric as that of the government, such as praising the Economic Summit, and denouncing protesting and strikes. The ministry, which holds tight control of all the country’s registered mosques, banned many preachers from giving lessons or leading prayers, often after accusing them of “politicising religion” or “advocating extremist ideologies”.
The latest incident included the Ministry of Religious Endowments’ banning famous preacher Mohamed Jebril from all preaching activities in Egyptian mosques, charging him with politicising prayers.
Furthermore, in October 2014, the Ministry of Religious Endowments received an approval from the Ministry of Justice to grant the first batch of endowment inspectors the right to arrest any civilian violating the religious speech law and regulations within mosques.