By Maha AbdelAzim
The Ministry of Endowment released a statement on Sunday announcing that it is officially responsible for Friday prayers and rites, and will decide on the topics discussed in all Egyptian mosques during the Friday prayer speech.
Under the new decision, the ministry will release a monthly plan on its website with topics to be discussed every Friday, followed by a more detailed description for each topic, which is to be released weekly.
The statement added that the decision is necessary in order to promote preaching with wisdom and good faith without involving political or sectarian biases, in accordance with the interest of society.
The topics for this month are, stated in order: the role of the youth in building society; hope and work; science and reason; and environmental protection and its importance for development.
This Friday, the issues to be discussed under the topic “the role of the youth in building society” will involve developing slums and targeting the needs of the rich and poor equally.
The statement added that the ministry will prioritise mosques that do not implement this decision in an effort to include Egyptian mosques under the ministry.
The ministry will also hold accountable Imams who do not adhere to the new topics.
Deputy Secretary General of Al-Nour Party Shaaban Abd El-Alim stated that implementing a unified speech on a national level is nearly impossible and not appropriate for the needs of the people. “Every mosque discusses the needs and problems of its own area,” which may be unrelated to the topics placed by the ministry, he said.