Minister of Religious Endowments Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa announced on Friday that a specialised committee assigned to develop religious discourse and sermons will hold its first preparation meeting on 15 December, state media reported.
The committee will reportedly discuss the strengths and weaknesses in Egyptian society in order to develop a five-year road map aimed at reforming religious discourse.
According to Gomaa, the committee will create a short-term plan addressing 54 issues, and a five year plan addressing 270 issues.
The formation of the committee comes after President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi delivered a speech commemorating the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad on Thursday. In his speech he agreed with Gomaa who had previously said Egypt needs such a committee. Al-Sisi said that the committee should be composed of scholars of religion, psychology, and sociology.
“The issue of improving religious discourse should not be reduced to unified Friday sermons,” Al-Sisi said, expressing appreciation for the role played by the Al-Azhar institution in fighting extremist ideology.
The ministry’s imposition of unified Friday sermons raised controversy among preachers who claimed the practice undermines their intellectual capacities and skills.