Minister of Religious Endowment Mohamad Mokhtar Gomaa decided on Monday to ban preacher Abdullah Roshdy, from giving any Friday sermon or any religious lesson until investigations are completed over publishing controversial writings against the morals of Islamic call.
Roshdy stirred controversy among social media users when he said that if the good work in normal life does not come from faith in God and His Messenger, so its value is purely worldly and garners thanks and praise to people. Users on social media thought that Roshdy’s statements were intended for cardiologist Magdi Yaqoub. Roshdy denied those accusations, explaining that what he said was specifically aimed at athiests. He was not speaking about the people of other religions, which includes Dr. Yaqoub, a Coptic Christian, expressing his appreciation and respect for him.
In a statement, the ministry said that this decision was based on a memorandum forwarded by the undersecretary for Islamic call affairs regarding the controversial views raised by Roshdy on his social media, and through his publications, which the ministry said is not appropriate for a preacher.
He is accused of not following the ministry’s instructions, which states that a preacher’s behaviour and thoughts on social media should be similar to what they present during their speech and ceremonies.
The memorandum also states that a preacher’s opinions represents the institution in which they work, which is why the minister has suspended Roshdy.
Roshdy responded to the decision saying that he will stand firm on his “principles and words, and will remain true to them as long as I live”.
Roshdy, is an Al-Azhar scholar who works as a preacher at the Ministry of Endowments, and has become a well-known figure in recent years for his mainstream religious discourse.
Similarly, in 2017 the Ministry banned Roshdy from giving sermons at ministry-affiliated mosques after backing the controversial comments of another cleric who called Christians ”unbelievers.”
On Monday, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly met Yaqoub, and invited him to attend the laying the cornerstone of International Cardiac Surgeons and Research Centre located in 6th of October City.
For his part, the Prime Minister welcomed the internationally recognised surgeon, expressing his happiness for receiving him at the headquarters of the cabinet, and affirmed his devotion to advancing the work of this important duty.
Madbouly indicated the country’s appreciation of the country for Yaqoub, who he described as a national symbol for Egyptians with significant contributions in their fields, who give time and effort to contribute to their societal role towards their country and its children.